Patience is a virtue, especially when you are organizing a charity car show and there is a hurricane bearing down on you.
That modified proverb paid off for Doug Megill and his volunteers who are organizing the eighth annual Carz Cruizin to Cure Cancer Sept. 16 behind the Cascades Post Office in Potomac Falls.
From initial projections for Hurricane Florence earlier this week, it looked like the only outdoor events happening in Loudoun County would be kayak races cascading over Potomac Falls.
Megill said they were watching those forecasts, but put off making a final decision thanks to some inside information from someone with access to their own team of meteorologists – celebrity MC Eileen Whelan of WJLA ABC 7 and News Channel 8.
“We were looking at the forecasts early in the week and it we were really sad thinking about having to cancel it,” Megill said. “Eileen Whelan said, ‘Hold on before you make a decision because this thing is changing directions.’ Things started looking better and better and just today (Sept. 13) we made the decision to go ahead with it.”
The true beneficiary of Florence’s left turn will be the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the charity behind Carz Cruizin to Cure Cancer. Last year, the event raised about $38,000 for LLS, and more than $170,000 had been raised in seven years.
“The event is in honor or memory of my father, Henry C. Megill Jr., who passed away from a rare form of lymphoma in 1990 after three-year battle,” Doug Megill said. “He went through chemotherapy, surgery, but the form he had – waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, or just WM – was pretty much a death sentence back then.”
Car Cruizin has grown since it was initiated eight years ago, when it raised $5,000.
“The second year, we hit the $20,000 mark and they were just so appreciative and encouraging,” Megill said. “They are so, so thankful for every dollar you raise. It is very moving.”
Last year, fun walk around Westlake (the lake between Bungalow Lakehouse and the car show event) was added, and this year will mark the second annual Commander Henry C. Megill Jr. USNR FUN WALK. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the first walker will start at 8:30.
“It’s an .85-mile course and you can walk it as many times as you want,” Megill said. “You can run if you want, but we don’t recommend it. It’s really just a causal stroll around the lake.”
“During the event we are going to have a tournament for the kids,” Megill said. “Then after the event, we are going to have one for the adults over at the Bungalow Lakehouse. For the adults, it’s $40 per two-person team, and the winner will get a minimum of $300 or 20 percent of the money raised.
“We had intended to have play-in tournaments and then have the finals during the event, but the first week we only had two teams show up. So we will allow anyone who shows up to enter, but the team that won will get a two-round bye and the other team will get a bye in the first round.”
Megill said all classic/antique vehicles, custom cars, sports cars, trucks and motorcycles are welcome to participate in the judging. The entry fee is $20 per vehicle if it registered online (carzcruizinforcancer.org) by Sept. 15, or $30 at the door and after Sept. 15 online.
“For people with cars, there will be two parking areas,” Megill said. “There will be one area for people who want their cars part of the judging. For those who don’t necessarily want to stay for the whole event and be part of the judging, we will have the Cruise-in/Cruise-out area. There is no charge for that, but we hope they will make a donation when they arrive.”
There also will be an expanded choice of food vendors – featuring Bungalow Lakehouse, Jersey Mike’s Subs, The Zone, Joe’s Pizzaria and Ben & Jerry’s Dulles Town Centre – and a new way of purchasing food from them.
“In previous years, people had to buy food tickets and then go get their food,” Megill said. “This year you can buy a wristband and have unlimited food. I think that is going to be very popular. We are even going to have pizza his year.”
There will be raffles, a silent auction and other prize drawings, with Whelan doing the announcing. Music will be provided in-between by DJ Mike Wilson of Ocean City Car Show fame.
Megill has set the goal for this year’s Carz Cruizin at $50,000 – for a very personal reason.
“The second year, when I dropped off the $20,000, they told me that if a person makes a donation of $50,000 or more, they can earmark the research they want that money to go toward,” Megill said. “Last year, they very kindly broke the rules and let me designate the $38,000 to WM, but I really want to reach the $50,000 mark this year.
“Since my father died, LLS had made a lot of progress is a lot of areas, but WM is still pretty much a death sentence.”
For more information, visit carzcruizinforcancer.org