The “Day of Hope” fundraising event returned for a sixth year Wednesday, committed to helping local families fighting cancer.
More than 580 volunteers teamed up in bright costumes to sell $1 special-edition Santa Maria Times newspapers on street corners throughout Santa Maria, Nipomo, Orcutt, Lompoc and the Santa Ynez Valley.
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.
Jessa Brooks, Vice President of Philanthropy for Marian Regional Medical Center, says they hope to raise $215,000 for Mission Hope Cancer Center this year.
As of early Wednesday evening, they were getting close to that goal.
“We’re really trying to make Day of Hope a celebration throughout the entire community and this is the first year we’ve really been 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,” Pryor Baird, is helping out with Day of Hope, too.
The Orcutt native performed 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.’”
You can donate online right now.
“People are so generous in their donations to help people because so many people we know are touched by cancer,” said Dr. Rocco.
Christina Favuzzi KSBY live in Santa Maria for Day of Hope!
Posted by KSBY on Wednesday, April 10, 2019