Newport car show to raise money for cancer patients

Founder started event to honor friend
Apr. 04, 2013 @ 11:54 PM

The fifth annual Cruise For Cancer is set for Sat., April 27, at Sagebrush Steakhouse, 201 Heritage Blvd. The event, organized by Sevier County native Nathan Manning, has been instrumental in raising several thousand dollars annually for Celebrate Life Cancer Support Group.

Sponsored by Newport's Hard Times Street Club, the event will run from 6 a.m. until midnight, rain or shine. Hundreds of collectible cars, trucks, and bikes, will be on display throughout the day, and there is no admission fee.

Guests may purchase homemade treats from the bake sale, browse and bid on a plethora of auction items, purchase a souvenir T-shirt, or simply make a donation in honor or in memory of someone who has been affected by cancer.

Celebrate Life uses the money to help cancer patients in Cocke, Sevier and Jefferson Counties with utility bills, prosthetics or prescriptions, Manning said.

Manning's "love of fins and chrome began at an early age," he said. He was inspired to begin the fundraiser after losing a longtime friend, J.R. Brewer, to bone cancer.

After falling ill, Brewer sold several cars from his personal fleet, including a black 1957 Chevy Bel Air, which Manning bought.

Manning, who grew up listening to stories about a 1957 Chevy his uncle once owned, said he vividly recalls the first one he ever saw in person. "My father had taken me to a classic car dealership to show me what he believed to be the prettiest car ever made," Manning said.

When Brewer died in February 2007, Manning drove the car in the funeral procession, an act he considers "a fitting tribute to one of the greatest car guys I've ever known."

Cruise Against Cancer has been Celebrate Life's premier fundraiser since it began in 2009.

"As a Christian, I realize that out greatest purpose in this life is helping one another," Manning said. "I'm thankful that God has blessed me with an opportunity to organize this event, and enough support to see it through."

Donations to Celebrate Life may be made at any time. For more information on how to help, contact Event Coordinator Nathan Manning at 865-548-6152.