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Memorial Hospital Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund Learn More

‘Cruising the Drag’ raises $15,386

  • Category: Community, Announcement
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Deb Sutton, Sweetwater Memorial PIO
‘Cruising the Drag’ raises $15,386

Charlie Van Over accepting donations

Thousands turn out to support COVID-19 Response Fund

Old cars at Kelly's Convenience CenterThousands of people in hundreds of cars cruised The Drag in Rock Springs and Green River on Friday night, raising $15,386 for the Memorial Hospital Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund.

“What a fabulous evening,” said Charlie Van Over, Memorial Hospital Foundation President. “It was so great to see the smiles and laughter during this time of uncertainty. It was just a magical evening.

“Sweetwater County always comes through in a time of need, and they sure did last night. I was overwhelmed with the support and generosity of the community. I sincerely want to thank all of the members of the Sweetwater County community for their generosity and support of the hospital. I must say, at times it was hard to keep tears out of my eyes. Thank you, Sweetwater County, you are all heroes.”

WyoRadio, The Radio Network and Kelly’s Convenience Centers teamed up to host “Cruising the Drag against COVID-19” in Rock Springs and Green River. Bruce and Carla Pivic of WyoRadio, Al and Faith Harris of The Radio Network, Island and Teresa Richards of Kelly’s Convenience Centers, each pledged to match donations up to $1,000. Sean Valentine and Western Wyoming Beverages donated 1,000 sodas and Sinclair Oil Corp. donated swag.

Bruce Pivic said he didn’t expect such a huge turnout.

“Wow, what a night,” he said. “As I drove down The Drag, the number of smiles, people waving, honking horns and just having fun was remarkable.

“I now know that both Rock Springs and Green River needed an outing to just blow out the cob webs,” he said. “I am absolutely sure that everyone had a smile on their face and will remember last night for weeks. Everyone got to forget the problems of the world and just have fun. Thank you, Sweetwater County, for blowing me away.”

Al Harris called it a “magical evening.”

“To see all the cool cars, hear the horns, witness the people watching from the street and just feel the moment was wonderful. I think we all needed that.

“Sweetwater County gets a high five,” he said. “I love you Sweetwater County.”

Island Richards said he is ecstatic that “Cruise the Drag” was such a huge success.

“I am so proud that we could be a part of it,” he said. “I’m even more proud of Sweetwater County, and how they stepped up to help. My only regret is that I couldn’t be there to take part in the festivities myself.

“I love Sweetwater County with all my heart. It has supported my family’s business for the last four decades, and been home to my family for many decades before that.

“The opportunity to work with someone like Bruce Pivic and the others involved to create an event like this was inspiring, and to do it for a great cause is just icing on the cake,” Richards said.

At various points along The Drag between the Sunset Drive and Ninth Street Kelly’s Convenience Centers in Rock Springs, cars were gridlocked as “cruising” music played on 1360 KRKK. Half-way through the event, two donation drop-off lanes had to be arranged to accommodate all of the vehicles at the Kelly’s on Sunset.

Listening to 1490 KUGR in Green River, hundreds of people drove through the Green River Chamber of Commerce parking lot to drop off donations. First responders turned out in Green River to provide an escort for the first vehicles to join the cruise.

The Memorial Hospital Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund now stands at $30,146.

Taylor Jones, MHSC Board of Trustees President, said he was speechless and humbled.

“I will be forever grateful to the MHSC Foundation for getting involved and helping our hospital and everyone working there,” he said.

“This would not have happened without the support and participation of the Sweetwater County community, and the extremely generous donations to your hospital,” he said. “And, of course, a special thanks goes to Island Richards, Bruce Pivic, Al Harris, Sean Valentine and all of their families and staff for putting this together.

“One of the reasons I love living in Sweetwater County is the people. Friday night put an exclamation point on that statement.”

MHSC CEO Irene Richardson shared similar thoughts.

“I want to thank everyone for their support, kindness and generosity,” Richardson said. “We truly live in the best community. I was in awe at the turnout and the overwhelming sense of togetherness that was felt. Thank you to the people of Sweetwater County, you are amazing.”

Donations to the COVID-19 Response Fund will go directly to support preparation and equipment needs which include:

  • Ensuring the staff has the necessary tools to provide patient care for COVID-19 positive patients.
  • The purchase of Personal Protective Equipment as needed.
  • The purchase of essential equipment as identified by the MHSC Incident Command team.

For more on how to donate to the Memorial Hospital Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund, go to www.mhscfoundation.com.

Watching the cars go by