Hundreds of volunteers and dozens of cars could be seen in Santa Maria Wednesday morning to raise awareness for cancer at the eighth annual Day of Hope fundraiser for the Mission Hope Cancer Center.
Street newspaper sales have resumed this year after fundraising was limited to digital sales in 2020, with volunteers dressed in bright orange vests offering special editions of the Santa Maria Times for $ 1 apiece at 27 team locations across town.
Between newspaper sales and online donations, the goal is to raise $ 235,000 for services, programs and equipment that will benefit cancer patients at Mission Hope, although organizers expect to greatly exceed this goal. . Over $ 217,000 and the count had been lifted on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s so amazing, just the outpouring of support from across the city,” said Sue Andersen, president and CEO of Marian Regional Medical Center. “With all the survivors that were in the parade and everything, I think to see people beat cancer… that’s a huge boost.”
This year’s Day of Hope car parade, which first took place in 2020 to honor individuals and families affected by cancer, began at 11 a.m. at Santa Maria Way and Miller Street, moving up Broadway and Main Street before finishing his run at Mission Hope.
The line of decorated vehicles and classic cars arrived to the cheers of volunteers stationed outside the center on Church Street, led by a cancer survivor and former Mission Hope patient. Karissa sanchez, which arrived as a parade float in a ’48 Chevy.
Other vehicles presented messages of support and testimonials to family members who had died of cancer, and a group of passengers brought their canine cancer survivor Julian, who had a tumor removed from his face, as a mascot.
Many parade participants were part of Cruzin for life, an annual event launched by Clifford Labastida that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer care, among other causes.
Nipomo resident Paul Stevens, who took part in the trailer for the second time on Wednesday in a classic red Studebaker, said the importance of cancer in his own family compelled him to participate.
“It’s a good cause,” he said. “[Cancer] hit my family pretty hard. ”
The patients and staff of Mission Hope were very touched by the parade and the outpouring of support.
Jasime Uribe, who works in Mission Hope’s radiation department, said the event was especially important to her after losing her father to cancer in 2018. She hopes the support from the community can bring comfort to those as well. who are undergoing treatment.
“Showing them all our love shows that there is hope, as the name suggests. We try to do our best to make them feel really warm and comforted, ”Uribe said.
Coming out of an appointment at the center, patient Matau Sua was surprised to see the procession unfold, but said it cheered her up.
“It’s touching. It was really nice to see all the support the center is receiving,” said Sua, who was diagnosed with cancer in January. “I was feeling a little depressed so that was something I had to see.”
Among the teams that participated in Day of Hope, the Passion for Color team led by Angelica Gutierrez was the big winner, with $ 12,765 raised on Wednesday.
Community members can continue to donate online at supportmarianmedical.org/dayofhope, and will receive a link to the electronic edition of the special section of the Santa Maria Times sold on the street.
Photos: “Hope Day” celebrated in Santa Maria, supporting the Mission Hope Cancer Center