SUNNYSIDE — Team Midnight Racing’s Fifth Annual Raising for a Cure Cancer Car Show at the historic Utah and Idaho Sugar Beet Factory, 2580 E. Lincoln Ave., attracted over 100 vehicles and raised $3,000 for North Star Lodge Cancer Care Center in Yakima on Sunday, Oct. 6.

Midnight Racing President Jose Gonzalez, formerly a People For People bus driver, in his bus driving days would transport patients to the facility’s outpatient cancer treatment and therapy services at 808 N. 39th Avenue. He wanted to help in some way and thought the 21-year old club, which originated from a group of friends out of Toppenish, could be of assistance and a car show was created.

“We believe that if you don’t help out the community, we’re never going to grow within us,” Gonzalez acknowledged. “As we get older, we’re looking into helping more people. Here in Sunnyside, there’s a big Hispanic community and we’re seeing a lot of people with cancer.”

Each year the Memorial Foundation’s fundraising event continues to grow, while the organization’s sponsorship keeps pace. All proceeds benefit the North Star Lodge and efforts generated through their support helps keep cancer patients hopeful that they’re not being forgotten, he added.

The juried show started at noon as judges walked around the vehicles carrying clipboards and evaluating a wide range of entries from car clubs throughout the upper and lower Yakima Valley competing for trophy recognition.

Stevan Conklin of Grandview and Datway Car Club brought his lowered GMC 2008 Denali SUV loaded with two, 18” subwoofers, and creating a thunderous wave of harmonic propulsion beyond the professional grade body, delivering 150 decibels of subterranean sound.

Conklin’s entry was awarded first place for the loudest system. The audio enthusiast said he has spent a year working on the truck and customizing his own brand of sound with plans to begin installing a new system in the upcoming weeks. His love for cars was inspired from his dad and the sound reverberating throughout the steel frame is what drives him, along with a car seat in the backseat.

“We’re guys who grew up together. Now, we all have families and we’re all moving forward with our children,” Midnight Racing Vice President Leonel Ramos expressed. “We started out as a Honda car club and as we’ve grown older and our choices in vehicles have changed over the years, and now we’re an open club. Our brotherhood and passion for cars has held us strong.”

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

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