Inside Seven
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Chief Deputy Director, Raja Mitwasi(left) and Deputy Director of Maintenance Dan Freeman (far right) present Larry Tiede with a $2,000 check from donations through the California Transportation Foundation, earmarked to Tiede for the devastating loss of his home in the November Sayre Fire in Sylmar.

Larry Tiede Receives $2,000 from Donations Through the California Transportation Foundation
by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 02/2009

Just one month after an Inside Seven article announcing a division-wide appeal for Larry Tiede, a District 7 roadworker in Altadena, North Region Maintenance, who completely lost his home in the November 15, 2008 Sayre Fire, received $2,000 from employee donations through the California Transportation Foundation.

On Thursday, January 29, Chief Deputy Director Raja Mitwasi and Deputy Director Dan Freeman, Maintenance, surprised Tiede when they visited Altadena to present him with a $2,000 check from the California Transportation Foundation.

Contacting Tiede as soon as the check arrived was a priority for District 7 Director Doug Failing. He asked Mitwasi and Freeman to re-arrange their schedules and head out to Altadena.

“This is the kind of work I like to do,” says Freeman about getting out to the field for one-on-one meetings with staff. “I’m sorry for the underlying reason for this trip, but to see the surprise and appreciation in his face and actions was heart-warming. Larry was so gracious and moved by the overwhelming financial support raised in such a short time.

“Caltrans has some remarkable people to be so generous at a time of tight budgets, an economic crisis and pending furloughs,” said Mitwasi.

Tiede and his wife, Helen, lost their 2-bedroom, 1,700 square foot home, one of 487 modular homes in the Oakridge Mobile Home Park in Sylmar. They are planning to re-establish themselves later this year in the same park along with many others friends and neighbors who are currently renting a nearby apartment.

Contributions can still be mailed to the California Transportation Foundation (CTF), 581 La Sierra Drive, Sacramento, CA 95864. Please include “Larry Tiede/Sayre Fire” in the memo portion of the check.

Mitwasi, Tiede, Freeman and Area Superintendent, Ed Toledo, North Region Maintenance.