FINDING A WAY TO GIVE BACK
Rick Sharples is a car enthusiast, history buff and antique tool restorer. He was diagnosed with bone cancer in the spring of 2017. He’s undergone the majority of his treatment at RVH through the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre (SMRCC).
For Rick, the emotional toll of cancer has been the hardest part of his journey.
“The first few months were very difficult as I was in a rut, feeling sorry for myself,” he recalls. “Then I realized one day that I could keep feeling sorry for myself or I could get up, get going and do something productive.”
So, he turned his energy toward his passions. An enthusiastic car history buff, Rick created a website called Yesterday’s Speedways where he details the history of stock car racing in Ontario. He’s also part of the Canadian Motorsport Historical Society, an online archive of Canadian motorsports of all disciplines.
As he continued to receive what he refers to as “excellent care” at the SMRCC, Rick got an idea to combine his interests with his desire to give back.
“Knowing I couldn’t make much of a difference on my own, I decided to organize the Cookstown Cancer Classic Car Show,” says Rick. “I grew up around cars and race cars my whole life, so it was a natural fit.”
Setting out, Rick’s goal was to rally the community together to raise vital funds that will better the health of all of us. He succeeded. The inaugural event took place last August. More than 500 vehicles participated, 1,000 people attended and the car show raised more than $6,500 for the cancer centre at RVH.
Rick has since moved to Durham, Ontario, but he wants to ensure that the same level of world-class care he received at RVH is available to others who need it. He’s passed the event reigns over to the Innisfil Beach Cruisers who are running the car show for year two.
The 2nd Annual Cookstown Cancer Classic is happening August 19, 2023 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Georgian Bay Steam Show Grounds in Cookstown. The entry fee is $10 per vehicle and for spectators, it’s $10 per car.
While he may not be organizing the event this year, Rick will be in attendance to lend his support to the fundraiser he helped create and to, of course, pursue his passion alongside his fellow car enthusiasts.
To see more events happening in our community in support of RVH click here.