“This year was totally different. We had to be creative and think of how to get people socially distanced and still get the whole intent of the event out there,” Andersen said. “It was truly amazing, the outpouring of support from the community. I was really impressed.” 

The car parade began at the Santa Maria Fairpark at 11 a.m., with the line of vehicles traveling up South Broadway to Main Street before arriving at Mission Hope Cancer Center.

Decorated vehicles, including several custom, classic cars and lowriders, honked their horns upon arriving to Mission Hope, where they were met with cheers from the volunteers stationed outside.

Some cars also had tributes displayed on their windows to family members and friends who have been affected by cancer, reading “This is for you, Dad,” and “In loving memory of our amazing friend.” 

Kim Strom, a patient at Mission Hope, stood on the curb to watch as the cars filed in. Originally from Chicago, she has been fighting cancer at the center since November, and said it was touching to see the outpouring of support from the community on Wednesday. 


Rachel Watanabe reads the special edition of the Santa Maria Times sold during  the Day of Hope fundraiser on Wednesday morning.

“It was totally unexpected, and emotional. It’s just amazing to see that kind of support, and the people who were coming out in memory of their loved ones. That’s what’s overwhelming, seeing all the support,” Strom said. 

In 2019, Day of Hope fundraising pulled in an all-time high of $232,000, and this year, Marian officials are hoping to be just as successful, if not more so.