The Legends Car Club held their annual Drive for Cancer this past weekend.
The one-day event raised around $25,000, which is nearly double last year’s total.
This year’s event was dedicated to the memory of two former members Bernie Klassen, as well as Murray Wieler, who passed away from cancer in 2018.
Approximately 70 people participated in the drive, filling up 35 to 40 cars.
The route began and ended in Altona, making stops in Plum Coulee, Miami, Somerset and Manitou along the way.
Club member Russ Toews says, “The morning was a little cool and wet, so that put a damper on our usual participation. But in the end, that’s not really what matters anyway. We were still very happy with the turnout. We had quite a nice long line of cars for the drive this year and it was all good.”
Toews says he is super impressed with the amount that was raised. “This year it was in honour of two of our members. I think everybody put an extra effort in. We are extremely happy with how things turned out. That’s a significant increase.”
He adds that it was a sad irony that Wieler, who initially started the Drive for Cancer about 17 years ago succumbed to the very disease he was raising funds for.
“It hits close to home, that’s kind of why we started this all and keep going.”
Through the years, the club has raised well over $100,000 for South Central Cancer Resource.
“Initially, we were their whole transportation budget. Now, just that alone is over $180,000. If you put that in context, that’s quite alarming. Clearly, we are making a difference in a lot of people’s lives. Everybody is affected by cancer in one way or another. If not yourself, it’s a family member.”
Toews says he is extremely grateful to all the sponsors who have supported the Drive through the years. “This whole run has never cost the car club anything. All our stops and food donations have all been donated for free. Both West Park Motors and Rhineland Car have been gracious enough to host this for all these years. IGA, Co-op, the media, Page Print, they have never charged us for this. Without our sponsors, we wouldn’t be able to donate all the much-needed funds.”Cancer Resource Centre representative Gail Shimonek says they are overwhelmed and deeply grateful for the support that the Legends Car Club gives them year after year.
“I think it is fantastic. We are beyond appreciative and very humbled.” She says the need is huge, and the resources that come in are put to the best of use when helping patients and their families deal with cancer.
“Our role is to educate, but also assist those families in any way we can. When it affects the person, it affects all the people in their lives. Our transportation budget goes up every year. The awareness and early diagnosis is part of that. It would be nice if every region in Manitoba had a Cancer Resource Centre like ours. It’s organized by the community. It’s funded by the community. It’s supported by the community.”