Cruzin’ For Life is a fundraising organization which was created in 2004 in Santa Maria, California. Its founder, Clifford Labastida, put his passion for cars to work in raising funds for organizations which fight cancer. Raising money with car shows, benefit dinners, and silent auctions, the fundraising organization donated $15,000 after their first event, to the American Cancer Society.
It’s 2017 now, as we all know, and this year, Cruzin’ For Life has grown considerably. Labastida didn’t intend to continue the charity beyond its first event, but with his community of volunteers and board members, he’s never found a reason to stop. And his newest milestone is yet another reason to continue.
This year, with a $150,000 check written to Marian Cancer Care, Cruzin’ For Life reaches a round $1 million donated to programs under the umbrella of Mission Hope Cancer Center.
“It was exciting,” said Kara Cole, a board member for Cruzin’ For Life. “It was something we looked forward to all year. It was in the back of our minds the entire year and that was the motivation to keep us going, so to see it happen was huge for us.”
They also donated another $26,000 to the American Cancer Society and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Cruzin’s total sum of donations over the last 14 years currently exceeds $1.4 million.
These donations came from funds raised during Cruzin’ For Life’s September fundraising events, which encompassed a whole weekend, peaking in a dinner and auction.
“When you come to these events, you’re not pulling teeth to get people to donate at these auctions,” said Dr. Robert Dichmann, medical director for Mission Hope. “The hands are flying up and people are coming there with the intent of having a good time and with the intent they’re going to donate and help the cause.”
Exciting and a good time. Both aren’t usually ways one describes fundraising for cancer. Best wishes for the future of Cruzin’ For Life.