Youth center named after Matt Garcia

September 5, 2008 5:41:44 PM PDT
Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia was pronounced dead on Friday morning, after being taken off life support.

The 22-year-old was shot in the head earlier this week. There is a $51,000 reward to convict his killer. His grieving family learned that matt's memory will live on, at a youth center that will open soon.

The teen center will open sometime in the Fall, and it will be a way to keep Matt Garcia's dream alive. This is all thanks to the generosity and selflessness of a Fairfield resident who gave much to the community.

Billy Yarbrough had a tough young life.

"Billy Yarbrough grew up in Oklahoma and at age 10, he lost his mother. After that he worked and did not live a childhood," said Fairfield Vice Mayor John Mraz.

But Yarbrough became a generous philanthropist, contributing a lot of time and money to the kids in Fairfield.

When he died in July, the city was going to name the new youth center after him. It's now being built and will open this fall.

"Naming this facility in honor of Matt is the right thing to do," said Yarbrough's son-in-law Anthony Russo.

On Friday, Yarbrough's son-in-law said the family wants the youth center renamed in honor of Matt Garcia.

"The kids of this community need to remember him every day when they go to that center. They need to know who he was and what he was about," said Russo.

Garcia was taken off life support on Friday morning, four days after he was shot in the head.

He was elected last fall and was the youngest councilmember in city history. One of his campaign promises was to open a teen center.

"Matt Garcia wanted to make sure the Fairfield children graduated from school and stayed away from gangs and drugs," said Mraz.

Family spokesman Ron Marlette said Garcia's parents were grateful.

"This was a very special gesture, a very special honor that they've placed upon their son to help keep the dream alive of Matt Garcia," said Marlette.

Garcia had been shot as he was getting out of his car at the home of a female friend.

Police say a young man stepped out of a car and fired off at least eight rounds. Garcia was struck in the back of the head.

Police say no arrest has been made, but they are getting possible leads.

"We are getting tips, we need to investigate every tip as if it's credible. We need to look at every tip that comes in," said Lt. Bob Bunting from Fairfield Police Department.

Garcia's organs are being donated and that was his wish. On Monday there will be a public viewing and on Tuesday a memorial service will be held on the football field of his old high school.

Services for Matt Garcia

  • Viewing - 5-9 p.m. Monday Sept 8, 2008. Liberty Christian Center, 2641 N. Texas St., Fairfield.
  • Memorial - 4 p.m. Tuesday September 9, 2008. Armijo High School, 824 Washington St., Fairfield (football field).
    Tip Hotlines:
    Fairfield Police Department 24hr tip line: (707) 428-7790
    Solano County Crimestoppers: (707) 644-7867


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