Event raises $13,500 first year
The inaugural Cars & Cures Car Show and Family Fun Day raised $13,500 for Project Alive’s efforts to fund research and find a cure for Hunter Syndrome.
The event, which took place Sept. 8 at Mill Creek Automotive and Mill Creek Brewery, brought together car enthusiasts and families for a day of music, cars and food. The event was the idea of Albert Ayotte, owner of Mill Creek Automotive. His neighbors’ three children were affected by Hunter Syndrome and he felt compelled to do something to help Project Alive find a cure for the disease.
“I am proud that we and our sponsors could raise as much awareness as we have for Project Alive,” Ayotte said, adding that 60 cars participated in the show. “The community of Nolensville came together for an awesome cause and next year will be even better.”
Ayotte worked with Melissa Hogan, president of Project Alive and a Williamson County resident, to plan and organize the event. Hogan travels the country to speak about Hunter Syndrome and raise awareness, which left little time to host an event herself. But with Albert’s idea and hard work toward the effort, Hogan was so grateful to finally have an event in her own “backyard” so to speak.
“This event was about even more than raising money to help cure Hunter Syndrome,” Hogan shared. “Four Tennessee families, three in Williamson County alone including our own, whose children have battled this disease felt the love and support of a community who cared about their struggle. Watching your child or children suffer through years of medical procedures, struggle to move and breath, and slowly lose their ability to engage with those around them, remember people’s names, and things they used to be able to do, is a heartbreaking journey. It feels good to have your neighbors walk this road with you.”
The non-profit foundation Project Alive was formed by Hunter Syndrome parents from across the country. They have, to date, raised $2 million for research and to fund the development of a gene therapy drug researchers believe could cure the disease. Project Alive is about $650,000 away from its goal to fund a clinical trial at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The trial already has FDA approval to begin when funding is available.
Local businesses rallied to support the first Cars & Cures events. Sponsors included:
Jackie Sanner Realty