Fundraising teams prepare ahead of the 9th “Day of Hope”


For the past nine years, Mission Hope Cancer Center in Santa Maria has brought the community together for Hope Day and this year is no different.

In the early morning hours of August, 17th fundraising teams will be scattering throughout the Santa Maria area selling special edition newspapers to raise money for the center, but this event is not just about the fundraising is also to honor and remember all those who have faced cancer.

Raquel Salazar lost her father to cancer in 2018, she leads the Papa Strong team and knows the impact of the center. She said “without a strong support team. I could never get through this.”

For patients and families facing cancer at Mission Hope Cancer Center, the toll of treatment is emotional and financial, but for one day a year the community comes together to ease some of that burden.

Jessa Brooks, Vice President of Philanthropy for the Marion Foundation, told us, “Day of Hope is without a doubt an inspirational day where our whole community comes together for cancer patients. Of course, the main goal is for them to donate to the program, but Day of Hope is about much more than that. It represents a community just where we honor our community cancer patients.

Fundraising teams go to street corners from Arroyo Grande to Orcutt to sell special edition Santa Maria Times newspapers for a dollar, but many choose to give more according to Brooks “community members who participate in the supporting events. They don’t just give a dollar. They give $5, $20, $10 and we get $100 bills. So it’s really amazing.

Funds go to patients in need through support groups, assistance funds, and other mission hope needs. Many fundraising teams have been directly affected.

For Salazar, it is the loss of a parent that motivates her.

“I started right after I lost my dad,” she continued, “my dad was diagnosed in April 2018. And he passed away on September 30, 2018. So it was a pretty quick journey. But people Mission Hope made it. You know. I don’t even know if I even cried there. They were so welcoming and so helpful. Whether it was trying to get gift cards for the drug coverage or even sending money to my parents to pay off part of their mortgage, they were just amazing”

The #PAPASTRONG team is raising funds to carry on his father’s legacy. Salazar said, “I mean, I’m doing it to keep his memory, to keep his name out there, to hopefully raise some more funds, you know, than I’ve done before in previous years. I do not know. It’s just been a huge part of that for the past four years. And I don’t see it stopping.

Teams will sell newspapers from 7 a.m. to noon before the parade of cars kicks off its route from the Santa Maria Fairgrounds to the Mission Hope Cancer Center.

Check out this link for more information about the event and how to donate.


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