LATHROP — Steve Ramsey is all too familiar with what cancer can do to a family.
And he wants to do whatever is in his power to make it stop – to stop the trips to the hospital to see those close to him suffer, something that has been all too common to the owner of Lathrop’s USA Motors in recent months.
So on Wednesday, Ramsey opened the doors to his new location – a sprawling, warehouse building on the edge of town – so that Lathrop’s Relay for Life committee can hold its annual fundraiser. It was the fourth consecutive year the used car dealer has hosted the event.
Oh, and he donated a car as well. A 2004 Mustang that he hopes will do at least something in the fight for a cure against the disease that seems all to incurable for the families – like his – that have to battle against it.
“We were just at the hospital last week,” he said after thanking the crowd for coming out to support the local organization. “It’s something that has touched our family, just like it something that has probably touched the families of everybody in this room.
“Even if what we do is a small token, we want to be able to do something. This is still a small town where everybody comes together, and you can see how the different organizations will get behind something like this. Lathrop has been good to us – the customers and the city. We went to give something back.”
For the better part of the last decade, the organization has been an integral sponsor of Lathrop’s Relay for Life – the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that consists of pledge collecting for a 24-hour walk around a track or designated route.
According to event co-chair Tamara Edwards, getting that kind of support from USA Motors is critical because Lathrop’s business community, as a whole, remains relatively hands-off when it comes to fundraising and support.
“We don’t see a lot of support from businesses, so something like this is so important to what it is that we’re trying to do,” she said. “Getting support from the different organizations, all of which are volunteer groups, is so important to the fundraiser as a whole – it shows that businesses and people are getting together on something like this.”
Relay for Life committee member Julie Ganoe agreed.
“It’s really hard to articulate – I guess you just get really excited when you see so many people come out for something like this,” she said. “It’s a big event in the community and that says a lot. It’s nice to see so many people that care about where Relay for Life is going.”