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The coast cares

Bobby Westbrook of Westbrook Dairy in Smith River displayed a 1948 Divco milk truck. The Pilot/Bill Schlichting
SMITH RIVER, Calif. – Car buffs gathered to see a slew of classic cars Labor Day weekend for the annual The Coast Cares MDA Car Show at Lucky 7 Casino.

The show, hosted by the Curry County Cruisers car club, raised nearly $4,500, for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), said Tom Lee, club president.

Money raised at the car show was added to the pot collected during the KTVL telethon in Medford. The station, which aired the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in Las Vegas, raised nearly $183,000 in the Northern California/ Southwestern Oregon region, according to the KTVL website.

Lee said that of the amount raised, $650 was received from the sale of raffle tickets. Many businesses donated items that caused people to be enthusiastic about buying tickets.

The club set a goal to have 100 cars in the show, according to Lee. that goal was almost achieved.

“We have 97 cars,” said Dayle Niemie, car show organizer. “Of course, they are from all over California and Oregon.”

Following the announcement of car show awards, Niemie thanked the Curry County Cruisers for its support as well as helping cover some of his duties.

“I actually got to see all the cars,” said Niemie, who is a car buff and does whatever he can to help rebuild classic automobiles. He was also able to eat a couple of cheeseburgers from the barbecue that was on site. In previous years, Niemie has been so busy at the show that he didn’t always get to see the cars.

Niemie has been a longtime client of MDA services, as is his daughter, Heather, of Portland.

MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education, according to the MDA website.

MDA combats neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive medical and support services, and far-reaching professional and public health education. With national headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., MDA has more than 200 offices across the country, sponsors more than 200 hospital-affiliated clinics and supports more than 330 research projects around the world.

MDA supports more research on neuromuscular diseases than any other private-sector organization in the world. MDA scientists are in the forefront of gene therapy research and have uncovered the genetic defects responsible for several forms of muscular dystrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), childhood spinal muscular atrophy and several other neuromuscular conditions.

The association’s comprehensive services program includes diagnostic and follow-up medical consultations, flu shots, support groups, MDA summer camps for youngsters, a medical equipment loan program, assistance with equipment repairs and resource referral.

Through its national advocacy program, MDA works to make life better for people with muscular dystrophy and related muscle diseases by providing representation in matters of public policy and research advancement, nationally and internationally; and facilitating active involvement in these areas by the people it serves, according to the MDA website.

MDA was created in 1950 by a group of adults with muscular dystrophy, parents of children with muscular dystrophy and a physician-scientist studying the disorder. Since its earliest days, it has been energized by its number-one volunteer and national chairman, entertainer Jerry Lewis.

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