What started with a life-changing call has turned into a brand known across the nation.
In 2010, Dan Neve began Cruise for a Cause after his wife and mother were both diagnosed with breast cancer within a month of each other. Today, he continues to attend Ford car shows and raise funds for research in a variety of ways, all with the mission of delivering hope wherever he goes.
On Monday, Neve presented a $80,121 check to Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation.
“When we first started, we donated to Susan G. Komen, the LeRoy Butler Foundation, and the Clinic. But after year two, we decided that it would be best to become our own nonprofit so that we can make sure that the funds raised go to finding a cure and not overhead,” said Neve. “The Marshfield Clinic not only puts our funds where we request them to go, but also treated my wife, mother, mother in law along with my sister-in-law in their fights against this disease.”
Since that first year of selling raffle tickets and T-shirts through the Clinic, today Cruise for a Cause raises funds through additional sources including donations, a golf tournament, and live and silent auctions at the annual Fall Ford Fest in the Dells. These auctions include donated items such as guitars signed by Prince, Star Wars movie posters signed by all the actors, and many other one-of-a-kind items.
“We had a great turn out,” said Neve of this year’s Fall Ford Fest. “Guests from 12 states attended from as far away as Arizona and Montana. Plus, a couple from Canada drove to be part of our event. We raised about $20,000 above what our previous amounts were. We are so thankful to so many for making this a success!”
2018 started out on a high note with a donation from the nonprofit’s insurance company. Neve traveled over 14,000 miles to events on weekends in a 2019 BULLITT Mustang donated by Ford. In 2019, Cruise for a Cause will be selling its first-ever 18-month calendar.
The cause has received local support from local Wisconsin business such as Staab Construction, Roehl Transport, Partners Bank, Feltz Tire, Mid Wisconsin Supply, PepsiCo and ProSticker of Wisconsin Rapids, Truck Lettering Company (TLC) in Pittsville, plus Griffen Ford of Fort Atkinson and Lake Mills Cleaners.
“The amazing part to me is the national support we get from companies like Ford Motor Company,” Neve said.
Others include Roush Performance, Saleen Performance, BFGoodrich, Shelby Wheel Company, Odyssey Battery, CoverCraft, Lloyds Mats, Diode Dynamics, Superchips, Gateway Mustang, R1 Concepts Brakes, Ford Performance, Barrett Jackson, Mothers Polish, Team Shelby, and Roadwire Leather Interiors.
With his trusty mustang ready to hit the road next year, Neve shows no sign of stopping his mission anytime soon.
“I was told that I was a true example of what one person can do,” he said. “I would rather say, I am an example of what one person can do with the support of so many, including my wife and family.”