Cruisin’ for A Cure, the world’s largest charity car show, celebrated 20 years of saving lives and building the classic car community on Sept. 28 at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California.

Over 200 vendors and 3,500 classic vehicles crowded the fairgrounds to raise awareness for prostate cancer and build the classic car community.

Celebrities in the entertainment and automotive industry showed up with their cars and companies to give their support to the event.

President Barry Meguiar of the automotive care product company Meguiar’s was the mediator of the celebrity panel consisting of television personalities and automotive industry leaders.

Celebrities in attendance were motorcycle designer Cory Ness, Peterson Automotive Museum chairman Bruce Meyer, custom car designers Jerry Logan and Brian Burton.

Discovery Channel personality Mike Brewer, cruise grand marshal John D’Agostino and Hot Wheels designer Carson Lev were also attending Crusin’ for a Cure.

Cruise Celebrity Panel 2019

2019 Cruisin' for a Cure Celebrity Panel (left to right) Rick Abate, Corey Ness, Bruce Meyer, Jerry Logan, Mike brewer, John D'Agostino, Brian Burton, Carson Lev and Barry Meguiar Photo credit: Gabe Larson

Cruising’ for a Cure was started by Debbie Baker, a realtor from Crestline, CA, after her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999. In an attempt to prevent other families from falling victim to unforeseen cancer diagnosis, she created the cruise as bait to lure men for free PSA screening.

Baker insisted that many men aren’t likely to get tested for prostate cancer because they never think it could happen to them. In an effort to increase PSA tests, she used the car show as a lure to give men a reason to come to the cruise and get screened.

Lev, a prostate cancer survivor for the past 16 years, was one of these men Baker was referring to.

Lev thought at the time he was young and healthy, but when Baker forced him to take a PSA screening he came back with an elevated PSA.

Doctors and staff from the KSK Cancer Center of Irvine volunteered their services and resources during the event.

Volunteer doctors 2019

(left to right) Dr. Eric Tygenhof, Dr. Rivera and Dr. Kenneth Tokita from KSK Cancer Center of Irvine display their book on men's health at the PSA screening center in the Anaheim room at the OC Fairground Photo credit: Gabe Larson

“We’re basically providing prostate cancer screening for free to any of the male attendees at the event.” said doctor volunteer, Dr. Eric Tygenhof.

“It is the single largest screening day that we know of in the world today. It’s been fantastic. We’ve picked up a lot of cancer symptoms in the past few years.” said Dr. Kenneth Tokita.

Even participants with no connection to prostate cancer such as Dunchuk Manufacturing’s purchasing agent, Mike Martin, donated their time and resources to the event.

With all the donors and event staff continuously putting on this event for the past 20 years, many lives have been saved and heartaches avoided.

“Every year they diagnose thousands and thousands of people and they have saved thousands of lives in the process. It’s just a great big community that has come together. Hot rod and car people are just generous people and when we find a cause we really truly believe in, we love to get behind it,” declared Martin.

Prostate Screening Center 2019

Several cruise attendees enter the PSA screening center Photo credit: Gabe Larson

Over the past 20 years, over 3,000 lives have been saved as a result of the free PSA screenings at Cruisin’ for a Cure.

Next year, the 21st annual Cruisin’ for a Cure will occur at the same location at the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa on Sept. 26, 2020.

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