Brogan’s Ride Against Cancer organizer Ken Johnson has been keeping a careful eye on the Fraser Valley weather forecast for this coming Sunday, July 12, the day for the third edition of the annual fundraiser.
“I saw one [forecast] that said it would be cloudy with sunny breaks and another that said there was a 60 per cent chance of rain,” Johnson told the Langley Advance Times.
How wet conditions are will decide how many of the more than 200 classic car owners who have expressed an interest in the event actually show up, he explained, noting that represents at least nine different car clubs from throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t want to take their cars out if it’s raining,” Johnson acknowledged.
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Even more of a wild card are the social distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will make for a different kind of ride, without people able to hang out in the parking lot or fill the seats inside Brogan’s Diner – a co-sponsor of the annual event.
Instead of hanging out, drivers will be asked to arrive shortly before the departure time of 9 a.m. (sharp) and line up in the Highland Village mall parking – in front of Brogan’s.
At the scheduled time, they will leave for Chilliwack, then Harrison, before returning to Langley and Brogan’s.
“It’s really different this year,” Johnson commented.
Cancer is a personal issue for Johnson, whose wife Theresa is a cancer survivor.
He lost one of his best friends to cancer as well, and several other friends are battling the disease.
Money raised by the ride will go to specific families nominated by readers of the ride Facebook page, he added.
“We’re trying to help any way we can.”
Brogan’s will be able to accommodate no more than 80 people, thanks to Plexiglas dividers that Johnson helped install.
“It’s not so much about the money, as setting out in the sun and having a good time,” Johnson remarked.
He will be driving his classic convertible, a car that comes with a story.
“I rode in that car when I was four years old,” Johnson laughed.
Years later, he located it, and bought it.
It was not in the best of shape, and took about two years to restore, he recalled.
“I found it in the blackberry bushes.”
He’s had more offers than he can count to buy the immaculate 1950s classic ride, but he means to keep it.
Like most classic car owners, he is also not a fan of rainy weather, but that will not deter him from taking part in this year’s fundraiser.
“We’re going, no matter what,” Johnson declared.
In its first year, the car show raised $3,700 that was distributed to three local families.
The second annual Brogan’s Diner Fight Against Cancer Car Show raised $2,900 for the cause.
This year, they are hoping to collect $4,000.
Donations can be at the GoFundMe page for Brogan’s Fight Against Cancer Car Cruise or by e-transfer.
Photos from last year’s ride can be viewed online.