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Inaugural "Day of Hope" Fundraiser Taking Place Today

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - KCOY 12 Central Coast News is proud to participate this year in the inaugural "Day of Hope" taking place today.

It is a first of a kind fundraiser in the Santa Maria Valley that was created to battle cancer and give a big boost to those fighting the deadly disease. More than 300 volunteers were busy all morning selling a special edition of the Santa Maria Times for one dollar paper at more than 35 locations. The goal for the first year is $75,000 in contributions.

Day of Hope Chairwoman, Dr. Monica Rocco, said "The Day of Hope is our first annual benefit to help raise money to benefit patients that are treated here at Mission Hope Cancer Center."

"People were more than willing to not only give more than just one dollar. They were giving five, ten, very grateful. A hundred dollars! A hundred dollars, someone stopped by and gave a hundred dollars", said Hector Rodriguez, a Day of Hope Volunteer.

For many, like Larry Lavagnino, the cause is personal. "It is so devastating. I lost my father thirty years ago. I still think of him every day."

That's why the former Santa Maria Mayor was hawking papers on the corner of Highway 135 and Skyway Drive. "Either you have it, you might have it or your family's got it and that's what we're trying to do is raise enough money to just help families."

Organizers stress all proceeds generated today, either through the sale of the newspapers or through the donations over the phone, will directly benefit the patients at Mission Hope."

While the sale of the special edition newspapers ended at noon, there's still an opportunity to contribute to the Day of Hope. A special phone line is open right now.

To give, to the Day of Hope, call 805-739-3595. No matter the amount, it will go a long way in the fight against against cancer.

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