Drive for Cancer brings together Craig community | CraigDailyPress.com

Drive for Cancer brings together Craig community

Fundraiser sees sizable turnout at Saturday carnival

From left, siblings McKenna, 12, Alana, 6, and Evan, nearly 10, display their freshly painted faces during the Drive for Cancer carnival Saturday at Victory Motors. The two sisters were butterflies, while their brother chose a skull at the face-painting booth, one of many activities for families at the event, which also included food and a silent auction, funds going toward Moffat County Cancer Society.

While an automobile technically can only have one person driving at a time, it was an entire community that got behind the wheel this weekend to get on the fast track to helping others.

Victory Motors' second annual Drive for Cancer provided a fun-filled day Saturday with its family carnival, part of the business's weeklong fundraiser for Moffat County Cancer Society.

The dealership's parking lot was filled with booths ranging from games to face-painting for all ages to enjoy themselves while simultaneously contributing to MCCS's efforts to provide financial assistance to those undergoing cancer treatments.

Victory Motors co-owner Steve Maneotis was among the brave souls who sat on the perch of the dunk tank, losing track of how many times he took the plunge.

His playful taunting of 9-year-old Brendon Wait as "Roger Clemens" backfired when the boy proved he had throwing strength by tossing from further distances to drench Maneotis over and over again, the businessman climbing out of the water each time with a smile on his face.

As a close friend of the Maneotis family, former Denver Bronco Rick Upchurch was present, signing autographs and greeting everyone, the 2014 Ring of Fame inductee having worked with local athletes in the past week as part of the Drive for Cancer.

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Upchurch also addressed the crowd about the importance of solidarity in such a project because of the impact cancer has on so many lives, himself battling chronic myeloid leukemia.

"Football prepared me for it — when I got tackled, I was able to get up off the ground and fight," the pro athlete said. "This is for helping other people to get up and fight."

One of those who found inspiration in the gridiron star's words was 12-year-old Tyler Burkett. Due to minor surgery on his foot, Burkett will miss out on the football season at Craig Middle School, though he hopes to be done with his crutches and cast by the time basketball season rolls around later in the fall.

Still, he knows Upchurch's situation is a lot tougher.

"I think it's really cool the way he's fighting it," Burkett said.

A silent auction within the building's showroom included a bounty of donated items from local companies, as well as a trio of pigskins signed by Broncos old and current.

Victory Motors will not have a count for the full amount they've raised until Monday, though the goal is to bring in double the $13,000 raised last year, if not more.

Among those cutting a check to the cause was Craig's Corky Coverston. With a breast cancer diagnosis that necessitated a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, the disease that put her through some of her most trying times is no longer winning.

"My last radiation was the 30th of June, and my doctor said as far as he's concerned, everything's OK," she said, adding that she'll continue to keep medical appointments to make sure the healing is on track.

In addition to the family and friends who helped her — her husband and two daughters are also cancer survivors — Coverston said the Cancer Society was a source that eased the burden that comes with treatment. Besides money, she also is donating her time by aiding a fellow cancer patient who could use the services of MCCS because she knows how it feels to be in such a position.

Maneotis noted that having a day where people are motivated to help others is what the Drive for Cancer is all about, getting individuals and businesses to contribute.

"It's not about selling cars today, it's about giving back to the community," he said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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