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Day of Hope cancer fundraiser collects record-breaking $344,720 in donations

Day of Hope final amount
Dignity Health Central Coast Cancer Services Senior Director Katherine Guthrie holds a placard indicating a record-breaking amount of $344,720 was raised last month during the Day of Hope. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Marian Regional Medical Center, along with Mission Hope Cancer Center, announced on Wednesday morning a record-breaking amount of donations was collected during last month's Day of Hope fundraiser.

This year's event, which was held on Aug. 17, collected $344,720, breaking the old mark of $316,556 that was set last year.

"What a tremendous outpouring of support that we had this year, and we've had it for nine years now building, but to get up to this level of $344,720, what a terrific sign this year," said Dr. Ben Wilkinson, Mission Hope Cancer Center radiation oncologist. "Santa Maria clearly is a vibrant community that is generous and supports causes that are in need, and they've come to our side, to the patient's side this time again and we're very thankful."

The final amount was announced during the "Day of Hope Thank You Celebration," special event held for local media and participating teams.

Day of Hope is a yearly community fundraising event for Mission Hope Cancer Center. All of the proceeds collected during the event help support cancer patient assistance needs, the acquisition of new technology and equipment, and programs and services.

"Any patient that comes through our doors has a diagnosis that is very scary, and to have the financial support, and the programs behind them, makes the process of going through cancer treatment easier, more meaningful, and able to get through it," said Wilkinson. "What a terrific place that we live that there's so many people that support causes like Mission Hope and cancer patients."

In addition to the announcement of the grand total raised, Wednesday's event also honored top fundraising teams.

Arroyo Grande-based Rugged Radios earned first place as the top company team, raising an all-time record $57,350.

Rancho Harvest, which has sponsored the Day of Hope since its inception, took second place with $12,507 raised, while Mission Hope Cancer Slayers was third at $6,107.

Passion For Color was the top friends and family team, bringing in $25,030. For The Pink Ribbon finished second overall with $12,265, while Team Phoebe and Madi was third at $7,753.

The best dressed team award went to Dignity Health Home Care, Hospice, Infusion, Marian
Residence TCC.

This was the ninth straight year the Day of Hope was held in the Santa Maria Valley and surrounding communities.

A date for next year's 10th anniversary event has not been announced.

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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