Special guests included former NFL stars Mike Lansford (barefoot kicker for the Rams), former Raiders player Jim Weatherley and Lance Zeno of the Green Bay Packers, NASCAR and off-road racer Felix ‘Nighthawk’ Giles, Chef Steve Cassarino, Diggity Dave with MTV’s Pimp My Ride, and 11-year-old race car driver Brandon Weaver of Bakersfield, CA.
Custom car designer Rich Evans, who writes a column for Autobody News, starred in the first season of Speed Channel’s Car Warriors and has several other TV credits, including Chop Cut Rebuild, Monster Garage and Chopper Nation. Rich is currently shooting a pilot for a new show which he’ll produce—-a documentary about car building around the world.
“As a car builder, I hope to inspire and influence the younger generation that working with their hands and learning something new is cool,” Evans said.
Evans, his wife, Patricia, and their three children, Dylan, 20, Lytra, 12 and Drahcir, 8, have been hosting Christmas parties and other events for America’s Baby Cancer Foundation (www.babycancer.org) for the past several years at the shop. The kids visit with Santa, receive gifts and sit in several designer cars. “Our parties get the kids out of the hospital for the day and they get the chance to sit in really cool cars,” Evans said. “We try to help them get their minds off their illnesses for a few hours and they look forward to coming to the shop and seeing the cars. My wife and I are very involved with America’s Baby Cancers Foundation because the children who die of this disease are very young and don’t get to see a glimmer of a long life. We want to bring some happiness into their lives. We want to support them, encourage them and make them feel special.
“I do as much charity as I can to help bring awareness about disabilities and diseases,” said Evans. “People don’t recognize or slow down enough to pay attention to certain diseases until they or a loved one get it. For me, I try to get more involved and learn as much as I can about the body and the diseases that affect us. Fighting cancer makes me feel grounded and appreciate life more.”
Phillis Lane, co-founder and President of America’s Baby Cancers Foundation, attended ‘The Party’ which was held over the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend. “Rich and Patricia Evans are once again providing America’s Baby Cancer Foundation the opportunity to broaden awareness of what is a little discussed disease that affects children. Our organization and the families we help are most appreciative of their support.”
Co-host of the ‘The Party,’ Swipe 4 Kids, is a brand new program that gives 50% of merchant electronic service fees towards endowing art, music, sports and educational enhancement programs at local schools. For more information, see:
About the Charities
America’s Baby Cancer Foundation was founded in 2000 in Long Beach, CA as Sebastian’s Baby Cancer Foundation by Bernard and Antonia Hicks following the loss of their child, Sebastian, at the age of 19 months. Sebastian was born with cancer of the neck and brain and during his short lifetime, his parents realized the desperate need for research, aid and education for families faced with baby cancer. ABCF is devoted to children and their families suffering from child-related cancers. Cancer is a leading cause of disease-related deaths among children in the United States and increasing every year. In addition, the number of cases of babies being born with cancer is on the rise. For more information, see www.babycancer.org.
JDRF has worked to improve lives and cure Type 1 diabetes for the past 40 years through research funding and advocacy. Its mission is to discover, develop and deliver advances that cure, better treat and prevent Type 1 diabetes. Last year, the foundation dropped its formal name of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation because 85% of those in the U.S. with Type 1 diabetes are adults. JDRF is an organization for all ages and all stages of the disease. For more information, see www.jdrf.org.