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Hurricane Scrubbing

Mater Dei School students raised more than $6,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina with an all-day car wash at the school Sept. 8.

Bethesda-based Datawatch arrived with six vans while parents' cars streamed in steadily and students held signs on Seven Locks Road. The students worked in shifts by grade level, getting a break from classes.

Mater Dei Headmaster Ed Williams and President Chris Abell didn’t stand idly by as students washed cars — Abell was covered in suds and Williams was in charge of the rinsing hose.

The students wanted to do something in response to the tragedy, Abell said, and a similar car wash after the 9/11 attacks had been a success.

With both young and old students working on several cars at a time, it was the spirit of service that counted most, he said: “Sometimes the cars get washed, sometimes they don’t.”