The 5th Annual Cars for the Cure – a community car, truck and motorcycle show designed to raise funds and awareness for type one diabetes (T1D) research, was held on September 3rd, 2017 at the Spring Hill Rec Center in McLean, VA.
Created by Butch Sevila and his son, Michael, following Michael’s T1D diagnosis at age 12, the annual event has been a huge success. This year’s show raised over $60,000, bringing their five-year total to over a quarter of a million dollars!
The Spring Hill Rec Center was a new venue for this growing event. “We had people coming who had no connection to type one,” said Michael, now 17 years old. “A lot of traffic came through.”
Wells Fargo Advisors served as the main sponsor for Cars for the Cure, along with 200 other sponsors and donors. The VW Group of America, headquartered in Herndon, Va., contributed their annual donation of $5,000. , “Supporters who bring the same car out year after year do it because they want to come together for a purpose,” said Butch.
Back in 2012 when Michael was first diagnosed and they came up with the idea for the car show, they set a lofty goal of raising $20,000. Five years and over $250,000 later, they’re still at it. “Nothing happens without funding,” Butch said. And they are determined not to stop raising funds until a T1D cure is found.
After Michael’s diagnosis, the Sevila family became heavily involved with JDRF. It didn’t take long before Michael became a Junior Youth Ambassador, volunteering many hours to events like JDRF’s local Walks and participating twice in JDRF’s Ride to Cure Diabetes. Michael received a road bike for Christmas and he and his dad began training for the first strenuous ride. When asked how the 100-mile bike treks went, Michael replied, “A lot more physical exertion than I expected.”
After five years of successful fundraising for JDRF, Butch and Michael explained their goal for the future of Cars for the Cure. Born in Virginia as a local grass-roots movement, as the event has evolved and grown, Butch decided to change the logo on the website, so it is now Cars for the Cure USA. Butch said, “We want to expand this thing into other states and regions. We want to see it go nationwide.”