Skip to Content

Cruzin’ For Life cancer fundraiser set to return this weekend

The popular Cruzin’ For Life fundraiser returns to Santa Maria this weekend.

“This is our 15th year of Cruzin’ For Life,” said board member Kara Cole. “This is so exciting to see the community come together for another year and help us raise hopefully the most money we’ve ever raised.”

Since it was created in 2004, the annual event has raised more than $1.5 million that has gone directly to benefit Central Coast cancer care services.

“The money stays local, always,” Cole said. “We donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Marian Cancer Care and the American Cancer Society. All local funds helping all of our local communities.”

One place that has benefited tremendously over the years is Mission Hope Cancer Center.

“The money that is donated to Mission Hope goes to support the community and to the services that we offer to our cancer patients and we couldn’t do so many of the things that we do for our cancer patients,” said Dr. Monica Rocco, who has been with the cancer center since it opened in 2012.

Rocco said money given to Mission Hope gives the center the ability to provide financial benefits to patients in need, such as money for rent, gas or groceries.

“We’re so grateful and we can’t thank them enough for everything that they do,” Dr. Rocco said. “So many people are touched and so many people have cancer and we really appreciate all that they do for us.”

During the first Cruzin’ For Life in 2004, a modest $15,000 was raised. Now, thanks to the generous support of community members and local businesses, annual revenue exceeds well over $100,000.

“Each year I’m overwhelmed by the giving of this community,” said Cole. “I see it every year, year after year, the dedication of the volunteers to the people who donate their money and time.”

Cruzin’ For Life is set to hold three major events on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday night, the inspirational Survivors Cruise will be held on Broadway.

From 6 p.m. To 8 p.m. Cancer patients and survivors will ride in show cars between Stowell Rd. and Cook St.

On Saturday, the car show will be held at the Santa Maria Fairpark beginning at 8 a.m.

Later that night, the dinner and auction is set for the Santa Maria Fairpark convention center.

Cruzin’ organizers point out the event has been altered a little bit this year, with all makes and models welcome for participation.

“We’ve revamped our car show and cruise, so we’re looking forward to adding more diversity for the cruise, so that’s exciting,” said Cole.

“Every kind of car you can image is probably going to be there,” said Touch of Style Car Club member John Watanabe. “You’ve got lowriders, 4X4’s, trucks, bombs, station wagons, whatever they want to bring, they can bring.”

Watanabe is among the many local car owners who will be taking part in the cruise and car show.

“It’s kind of personal because I had my dad die of cancer,” Watanabe said. “My father-in-law Art died of cancer, a lot of people in my family died of cancer.”

Like Watanabe, Robert Tyler of the Mad Bomberz Car Club also has added reason to participate.

“Three years ago, my daughter got cancer and she had to be flown to Stanford for emergency surgery on her brain,” said Tyler.

Since then, and more surgeries later, Tyler’s daughter will be be able to ride in the Survivor’s Cruise with her father, just as she did last year.

“She’s got three years surviving,” Tyler said. “She’s proud of it and we’re proud of her.”

Mad Bomberz and Touch of Style are just two of the handful of local car clubs that are teaming up for the worthy cause.

“We’re all pulling together to help out,” said Watanabe. “It’s a good feeling to have to help out somebody that needs help. We’re just trying to help cancer patients out a little bit.”

In addition to community support, several local businesses are instrumental in financially supporting the event, such as Pacific Petroleum, Rockin CJ Transport, Fisher Pumps, Kinyon Construction, Tri W Enterprises and Crockers Lockers.

KCOY 12 Central Coast News has been a partner in Cruzin’ For Life since the beginning in 2004.

“It’s amazing,” Cole said. “This community is the most giving and of giving of time and goods. To see it come together in the end and benefit the community and all the people who around is such an amazing thing to see.”

The cruise and car show are free to the public. Saturday’s dinner and auction is sold out.

For more information, please visit the Cruzin’ For Life website.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Channel 3-12

Email the News Channel 3-12 Team


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content