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‘Cruzin for a Cure’ supports American Cancer Society
SMOKEY POINT — In spite of gray skies and a bit of drizzle, the second annual “Cruzin for a Cure” car and bike show beat out last year’s registration numbers.
“As of noon, we had 61 entrants registered,” said Mark Lilgreen, team captain for the event. “We only had 50 last year, but it was pouring rain that year.”
Lilgreen estimated that the show itself took in about $2,000 for the American Cancer Society, without counting the individual collections of the number of Relay For Life team booths that were allowed to set up at the event for free. Lilgreen’s interest in stylish vehicles and finding a cure for cancer both tie back to his family, since he credited his son with reawakening his appreciation for classic automobiles, and while his grandparents and his wife’s father have died of cancer, his own parents and his sister have survived.
“We hope we can find a cure so that our kids don’t get it,” Lilgreen said.
This event hit close to home on both fronts for Jim and Laura Scharf of Granite Falls. Jim brought his 1922 Dodge Bros. Roadster to show off to event attendees, while Laura shared her story of being in remission from lymphoma for the past five years.
“Cancer can be horrible,” Laura Scharf said. “It can take away your self-esteem and your quality of life, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to survive it.”
The Scharfs expressed how moved they were by seeing the community come together on behalf of this cause.
“When you show folks who are fighting this disease that you care, it can give them a lot of strength,” Laura Scharf said. “Everyone has been touched by cancer in one way or another.”
Smokey Point’s Steve Mallory, a 32-year tow truck driver in Marysville, has owned his 1962 Oldsmobile for four years and been in remission from lymphoma for two years, although he noted that the medication he has to take for his rheumatoid arthritis includes a risk of cancer recurring.
“I’ve been enjoying my life and my grandkids,” said Mallory, who’s proud of his father and brother for serving in the military. “I support the troops and I support finding a cure for cancer. I’m a heartfelt kind of guy.”
Mallory not only wears his heart on his sleeve, but all over his vehicles, with stickers and paintings honoring the passing of his former wife and his friend’s son. He even brought an American flag motorcycle to the show, custom-painted with 50 stars and 13 stripes.
“I don’t care if it was my worst enemy in the world, I wouldn’t wish cancer on them,” Mallory said. “That’s the rottenest crap to deal with. The American Cancer Society saved me, so heck yeah, I’ll support them.”