Group helps victims

Kevin Wilson:PNT Staff Writer

Unbreakable, a local music group, and other artists who perform with the group spent Sunday afternoon using soap, hoses, water and brushes to do their part for Hurricane Katrina survivors.

It started last week when Tony Montoya (performing name T-Loked) called up other group members and brainstormed ways to do their part in the nationwide relief effort.

The group includes Tony Montoya, Gabriel Montoya (Phana*C) and Mario Montoya (Cholo).

“We were just thinking about what we needed to do when we had a free weekend,” Sammy Montoya, the group’s manager, said during an idle period Sunday. “Tony said we could just do a car wash and give the proceeds to the Red Cross.”

It never got much more complicated than that. Anybody who came to the C&S parking lot Sunday with items that survivors could use got a free car wash courtesy of Unbreakable and other artists under its independent label of Underground Records.

The car wash went from noon to 5 p.m. and Mario Montoya said he was “very, very impressed” with donations, which included books, clothes and toys. When asked how many cars had came through, J.J. Soto (who performs on the label as Double J) laughed and said, “Enough to lose count.”

Many people, Sammy Montoya said, dropped stuff off and turned down the free car wash.

The group admits they don’t have great financial resources to give to the relief effort, and members figured a benefit concert would have taken too much planning and possibly resulted in fewer donations.

“We wanted to do something for the entire community,” Sammy Montoya said, “instead of just the fans that we’ve already got.”

They got plenty of support. Montoya was able to borrow a power washer from Hamilton GM Country, where he works, and C&S owner Mike Stratton donated use of his store’s parking lot for the event.

Others donated their time as well. Micah Short, who also performs shows with Unbreakable and the other artists, came in during a break in his Sunday shift at Pizza Hut.
“Micah even came out here on his lunch hour,” Mario Montoya said. “That’s a good guy.”

The group admitted they didn’t know anybody who lived in New Orleans, but they felt that shouldn’t stop them from doing something.

“We would want the same thing,” Gabriel Montoya said. “If something like that happened in New Mexico, we would this same type of thing done for us.”