Day of Hope back Wednesday for seventh year despite pandemic, with car parade, virtual donor option | Local News

Our response to the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped social interaction, forced businesses to close, eliminated jobs, canceled classes and even altered our daily attire, but there are certain things that remain unfazed by such changes.

Cancer never takes a day off.

So too, the many individuals and organizations that help those battling the disease cannot take a break in their efforts. That’s why Day of Hope returns Wednesday in defiance of COVID-19, although it has made some concessions.

Every April for the past six years, volunteers in orange vests have fanned out through an increasing number of communities and locations to sell special editions of the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News, or have simply accepted donations from passing motorists.

All proceeds go directly to Mission Hope Cancer Center to provide education, recovery programs and support to cancer patients

Last year, more than 600 volunteers hawked newspapers in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvang and Nipomo, raising a record $231,906, besting the previous year’s total by more than $20,000.

But this year, the Santa Barbara County health officer’s orders forced organizers to rethink the fundraiser and develop alternatives.

2020 Day of Hope car parade route

The Day of Hope car parade will take some 60 to 100 vehicles from the Santa Maria Fairpark along a route up South Broadway to Main Street, then to Marian Regional Medical Center Wednesday to publicize the seventh annual fundraiser for Mission Hope Cancer Center.

“This Day of Hope is a little different,” said Angelica Ottman, special events coordinator for the Marian Regional Medical Center Foundation. “The big highlight this year is the car parade.”

Newspapers will still be sold on the Marian Regional Medical Center campus, she said, but another new feature this year for all donors is online access to the Santa Maria Times special Day of Hope edition.

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