Cruisin’ for a Cure raises money for diabetes research

Stephanie Jessie

Cruisin’ for a Cure, a local organization that raises money for juvenile diabetes research, has raised more than half a million dollars to give to the Juvenile Diabetic Research Foundation since its start in 2009.

The organization was started by a group of men with family members affected by the disease. Money is mostly raised through car shows the group puts on throughout the year. Most of the shows are located behind Bruster’s Real Ice Cream off of Scottsville Road.

Kevin Kirby, co-owner of Bruster’s and a member of Cruisin’ for a Cure, said five years ago, the organization started “doing these cruise-ins, giving away a car or a truck to raise money.” 

Kirby joined the organization because he has type two diabetes, which is the most common form of diabetes. Diabetics suffer from high levels of sugar in their blood. 

Juvenile diabetes, also known as type one diabetes, is the type the group raises money for and it’s usually diagnosed in children and young adults. 

Money raised also comes from t-shirt sales and collections taken for a 50/50 pot. People can put money into the pot throughout their time at the cruise-in. At the end of the show, a winner is drawn, and half the money collected in the pot goes to the winner while the other half goes toward the Juvenile Diabetic Research Foundation. 

“A lot of the people who win the 50/50 actually will give it back,” Kirby said. “They’ll win it and they’ll say, ‘You know, just keep it all…it’s for the kids.’ 75 percent of people will. The others that don’t will give a little of it back from what they won.”

Last Saturday, Cruisin’ for a Cure participated in Second Saturday, an event held downtown throughout the summer months that brings local businesses together in a street-fair setting. Kirby said merging with the Second Saturday group was a “good marriage.” 

“This is our second year going downtown and we’re already in talks about next year,” Kirby said. “It’s pretty down there. We’ve got good music, you’ve got vendors and restaurants, and it’s a good venue to have a car show.

Cruisin’ for a Cure will be hosting a walk at the Hot Rods stadium on Saturday, Sept. 27. Kirby said pizza and ice cream will be available for all registered walkers, along with face painting and bouncy castles for children.

A brand new 2015 Ford Mustang, donated by the Ford Motor Company, is going to be raffled off, with all of the raffle ticket money going to juvenile diabetes research. 

Doors open for registration at 11:00 a.m. and the walk will begin at 12:30 p.m. Other prizes include a storage building, a play set and a homemade quilt with an old-car design.

“We live in a great community and area about raising money and helping all kinds of different causes,” Kirby said.