DOWNEY — It is a car wash, but not just any run-of-the-mill car wash. This one comes complete with champagne brunch, a live rock band, photos of the entire event and a $150 price tag.
Tim Briley, owner of JTF European Automart here is sponsoring what he calls the world's most expensive car wash at his dealership on Sunday to raise money for cancer research. Proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
Briley knows how devastating cancer can be. He said three of his family members have died from the disease.
Briley, whose "luxury" car dealership specializes in Rolls Royces, Ferraris and Masseratis, said his car washing crew is prepared to "hand wash, pamper and baby as many cars that come."
He said he chose this type of fund-raiser because he thought his clientele would be responsive, and at the same time he would give them something they wanted--clean, spotless automobiles.
"I felt like the people who will give have probably participated in about every kind of fund-raiser there is. I just thought this would be a novel way of going about raising money for cancer research."
The car wash is a different approach to fund-raising, according to Larry Feder, director of development at the Long Beach, Harbor, Southeast Unit of the American Cancer Society.
"It's very unique," Feder said. "I've never heard of it before."
Feder said because special events such as auctions and fund-raising dinners have been big money raisers in the past, he is optimistic about the success of Briley's car wash.
Last year about $1 million was donated to cancer research in the Long Beach, Harbor, Southeast Unit, Feder said. Of that amount, he said, about 50% was raised through special fund-raising events by family members, friends and others affected by cancer.
In 1962, Briley said, his mother-in-law died of ovarian cancer. He said his 12-year-old daughter by a previous marriage, Cindy, died of cancer of the bone marrow in 1981. And four weeks ago, his mother died of lung cancer.
Briley said his wife, Barbara, who is now living a healthy life, was diagnosed as having uterine cancer in 1975.
Briley, 39, said losing three family members to various types of cancer made him realize the need to contribute to cancer research.
"I would love to raise a million dollars and see the whole city of Downey come out and wash cars --even if it means I will be there until midnight," he said. "But we'll be happy with anything we can get."
The car wash begins at 10 a.m. with a live rock band appearing at noon.