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Event to raise money to fight childhood cancer
Ismael “Smiley” Perez tried a number of ways – washing cars and selling key chains, to name a couple – to raise money for cancer research and to buy toys for cancer patients in honor of his 4-year-old son, Angel, who died of leukemia in 2007.
Last year, the Moorhead father finally found something that worked, and his Originals Car Club is back this year with the second annual Childhood Cancer Awareness Car Show slated for Saturday in Fargo.
Last year’s event drew 70 vehicles, and Perez said he hopes to double that number this year.
The initial event raised $2,891, half of which went to Cure Search to fund cancer research. The other half was used to buy wish-list items for young cancer patients at Roger Maris Cancer Center and MeritCare (now Sanford) Children’s Hospital.
The children don’t know who donates the toys, but Perez said that from his experience with his own son, he has witnessed the expressions on their faces when they receive the toys.
“Just to see them smile for an hour or whatever – you can’t put a price on that,” he said.
Entry fees for the car show are $10 per vehicle and $5 per bicycle.
“Anything with wheels, bring it out. I don’t care what it is – bicycle, semi, tractor – as long as it’s unique,” said Perez, who restored a 1953 Chevy Bel-Air in his son’s memory.
The car show has about 15 sponsors, which is “quite a few” more than last year’s event, said organizer Chris Lord, Perez’s co-worker and fellow car club member.
Registration is from 6 to 11 a.m. in the Culver’s parking lot at 4615 13th Ave. S., followed by the car show from noon to 5 p.m. Awards will be given to the top three entries.
The car show is free to the public, and Perez encourages parents to bring their kids to take part in face painting, a bouncy house and a pie-eating contest. Brave adults can participate in a jalapeno eating contest.
Monetary donations will be accepted, and a wish list will be available at the show if people want to buy the toys themselves, Perez said.
Shelby GosnellCommunications Manager Email Shelby(240) 235-2205