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Car show charity has a tough 2020

“It’s been a tough year, but we cruisers are praying for a cure for this virus so we can get back to normal cruising.”
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 11:04 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - “We just feel that this year has really been just totally different.”

That’s how 2020 has gone for nearly everyone. But for Zeake and his car shows, that means smaller checks for local charities.

He goes by Cruisin' Zeake, and he hosts car shows for charity every summer. He tells 13abc, “We only were able to have one show for Hospice and then one Cruise-In this year.”

Hospice of Northwest Ohio is one of the many charities that Zeake collects for through his car shows. In the last 10 years, he’s raised $43,000. Last year, he handed over his biggest check to them yet: for $7,200. This year, he came in more than $1,000 under that.

Zeake says, “We were able to do one cruise, where I really put the word out, and we had some really great people from the community step up big and help us out with that, and ... we were able to present them with $6,100 this year.”

And leaders with Hospice say they’ve seen a drop in giving, too.

John Lechman, the Vice President of Philanthropy for Hospice of Northwest Ohio, explains, “Whenever a community experiences an event like this, people kind of question their safety and security and well-being, it has an effect on giving.”

In a typical summer, Zeake says he hosts about 30 car shows. This year, he held only five. Now, going into the final months of 2020, hope is the theme.

“It’s been a tough year, but we cruisers are praying for a cure for this virus so we can get back to normal cruising.”

“I’m hopeful that, for both ourselves and for other charities, that as we get closer to the holidays, people feel a little better and some things have been settled in our culture, and that will release some gifts that we and others will benefit from.”

Zeake says his goal for next year is to hit the $50,000 mark for his total giving to Hospice.

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