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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 9:21 am | Fair 50º


Santa Maria Cruzin’ for Life to Raise Funds for Cancer Services

Annual benefit continues Saturday with a car show, cruise, dinner and auction

Classic cars carrying cancer survivors will cruise Broadway in Santa Maria on Saturday afternoon for the annual fundraiser benefiting cancer care services locally.

Cruzin’ for Life, which began in 2004 and has grown every year since then, kicks off Friday night and continues Saturday with a car show, cruise, dinner and auction. 

The event will be held at the Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S. Thornburg St., and began with a car show “meet and greet” from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. 

On Saturday, the all-model car show will be held from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Fairpark with Montgomery-Dougherty performing from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Unfinished Business playing from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m.

The cruise with cancer survivors hitching rides in shiny classic cars will fill Broadway between Stowell Road and Main Street from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday as hundreds of supports line the sidewalks in support.

Organizers said some 150 vehicles were registered for Saturday, but expected the number could be near 200.

Drivers are eager to honor the cancer survivors by taking them on the cruise.

Event founder Clifford Labastida said that last year a woman standing on the sidewalk had a sign that read, “I’m a cancer survivor.”

Upon seeing that one of the drivers of the cruising vehicles swerved in her direction and picked her up for a ride.

“I thought that was the coolest thing,” Labastida said.

Santa Maria police warned that Broadway between Stowell Road and Cook Street would be closed from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday due to the cruise. In case of emergencies, Cook Street, Jones Street, Morrison Street and Stowell Road will have officers to assist people across Broadway.

Saturday evening, silent and live auctions are planned along with no-host cocktails and dinner. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. 

Entertainment will be provided by Sammy Labastida Jazz from 5 to 6 p.m. Dinner and the program will start at 6:30 p.m. Later in the evening, Freight Train will entertain.

Tickets cost $40 per person and should be purchased beforehand since the event typical sells out, according to organizers.

Cruzin' for Life was founded in 2004 by Labastida who joined with his brothers and buddies to raise funds to fight cancer while celebrating their top hobby: cars.

In the past, the event has included a tire burnout competition and been held at different locations until outgrowing those sites and ending up at the Fairpark.

The first year raised $15,000. Last year, Cruzin’ for Life gave away $123,000 to four programs the help cancer patients.

“We have a very generous community,” Labastida said.

Organizers said Cruzin’ for Life provides money Marian Cancer Care for a cancer patient outreach fund, covering needs insurance does not, such as transportation while in treatment, mortgage payments and car payments.

The event also helps fund the Make-A-Wish of the Tri Counties. 

Additionally, the event benefits the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recover program to provide funding for patients needing transportation to get care in Santa Barbara or beyond the Central Coast. It also helped the “Tops for Tots to Teens” program to provide a variety of hats, caps, scarves or wigs for small children to teenagers making life easier for them to cope with their hair loss.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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