Hundreds of people on the Central Coast are preparing for one of the area’s biggest fundraisers.
The “Day of Hope” fundraising event is back for a sixth year this Wednesday, committed to helping local families fighting cancer.
Dr. Monica Rocco is the breast cancer surgical director at Mission Hope Cancer Center in Santa Maria.
“It’s always very frightening when you hear you have cancer,” Dr. Rocco said.
Dr. Rocco and the team at Mission Hope Cancer Center hope to alleviate the stress of going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment by raising money for their patients.
“In years past, we’ve given $100,000 just to patients who need financial support during the year, that can be from gas cards to support with children… or utility bills that maybe patients can’t pay during the year,” Dr. Rocco said.
Wednesday morning, more than 580 volunteers with team up in bright costumes to sell $1 special-edition Santa Maria Times newspapers on street corners across Santa Maria, Nipomo, Orcutt, Lompoc and the Santa Ynez Valley.
Vice president of philanthropy for Marian Regional Medical Center, Jessa Brooks, says they hope to raise $215,000 for Mission Hope Cancer Center this year.
“We’re really trying to make Day of Hope a celebration throughout the entire community and this is the first year we’ve really be able to do that,” Brooks said. “We’ve got a number of restaurants and different community businesses that are donating proceeds back to Mission Hope Cancer.”
A local celebrity and top 10 contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” is helping out with Day of Hope too.
“Pryor Baird will be returning to Santa Maria for Day of Hope,” Brooks said. He will be helping us to thank team members who are helping to support this effort. He’ll also be making an appearance at Mission Hope Cancer Center to see patients.”
The Orcutt native will give a performance at 1 p.m. at Mission Hope Cancer Center for patients and Day of Hope volunteers.
Every dollar raised through Day of Hope goes to supporting patient services and cancer technologies at Mission Hope Cancer Center. Dr. Rocco says she hopes it helps ease the worries of patients at such a difficult time in their lives.
“They’re just so grateful,” Dr. Rocco said. “[Patients] say, ‘I can’t believe that there is support that’s offered to us.'”
“People are so generous in their donations to help people because so many people we know are touched by cancer,” said Dr. Rocco.