Compass Christian Church to host ‘Cruise-In | New

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By Christina Amano Dolan Editor

Compass Christian Church is kicking off the church’s second annual “Cruise-In Event” this month to benefit another family battling childhood cancer.

The free event will take place on Sunday, September 18 on the church grounds, located at 8137 Liberty Circle in Mechanicsville. Similar to last year’s event, the morning will include a display of community vehicles, live music presented by the church worship band, a cotton candy cart, face painting, games and outdoor activities and a series of raffle prizes for children and adults. .

All cars and bikes are welcome to participate free of charge. Bike and car registration opens at 8:30 a.m. at the start of the event, complete with live music, activities, free drinks and raffle opportunities.

Registration will close at 10 a.m. and a live outdoor workshop service will follow. At 11 a.m., all vehicle prizes and raffle prizes will be distributed. A complimentary lunch will be provided to attendees with a barbecue meal from Smokey Bottom BBQ.

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Christie Jones, outreach director for the church, said the idea for a local cruise event was inspired by annual events at Rappahannock Church of Christ, which have been held for 18 years to benefit families. of the surrounding community.

“And we thought that was such a good thing,” Jones said. “We could do something similar, since we’re not in the same area, and help twice as many families each year because we both do it.

Jones said Rappahannock Church holds its Cruise-In events in the spring and Compass Church holds theirs in the fall. This year, the event takes place during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The church has identified one family to benefit this year through connections from recipients from the previous year “wanting to bless someone else and recommending them,” Jones said.

The church’s first Cruise-In event benefited Harper, a young girl battling cancer, and her family. The day drew a crowd of approximately 1,000 attendees and raised approximately $24,000 directly benefiting the family.

According to Jones, organizers aim to put the spotlight on every child at the events by giving them the “royal treatment,” with Harper riding with her family in a custom golf cart decorated with PAW Patrol cartoons and her favorite colors while getting her face painted for the very first time.

The church also allows the child and family to select the top three motorcycles and top three cars on display for the awards ceremony. Harper last year chose a purple truck as one of the winning vehicles because purple is her favorite color.

“It was just a fun day for her,” Jones said. She said Harper mistook the event for a birthday party, and she excitedly told everyone she turned four on the day of the Cruise-In event.

“She thought she got older that day,” Jones said. “She was like, ‘I’m now 4 because I had my birthday party at Compass, which was like the best birthday party ever!'”

The church has identified the Roberts family through the Harper family, with this year’s event directly benefiting Oliver Roberts.

“This particular family, you know, has been through so much with such a small child,” Jones said. “Oliver overcame a lot.”

Oliver was diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-like acute lymphoblastic leukemia on March 1, 2021, when he was 2 years old. Over the past year, he has spent 30 days in hospital and received 10 different types of chemotherapy, oral, through his Hickman and PICC line, port and home-delivered injections. He is less than a year away from completing his treatment and is currently in the “maintenance” phase of treatment with monthly blood tests, chemo infusions and daily chemo medication.

He is considered ‘cancer free’ at present, but due to the type of cancer he faces a high risk of the disease recurring.

Jones said Oliver’s treatments have already placed a financial burden on the family with hotel stays, travel, the cost of treatment and taking a bigger toll on the family’s finances.

“We hope to create an opportunity for them to have funds available that they can use to pay off the debt they have already incurred, as well as to be able to help them in the future so that they… can focus about being present with their boys…and not having to worry about all the financial burdens that come with that as well,” Jones said.

Jones said this year’s activities will include children’s activities that the two young boys in the Roberts family will enjoy. Oliver will ride with his family in his own personalized golf cart and even receive a surprise gift – a child’s alligator courtesy of James River Equipment.

Jones said “every penny” received on the day of the event will directly benefit the Roberts family. She encourages community members who cannot attend the event in person to donate through the church’s website.

To donate or for more information about the event in general, visit the website: www.compasschristianchurch.com/cruise-in.

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