There are rare moments we all experience that are truly life altering. For Tim Schmidt, that moment was losing his brother to prostate cancer in 2001. Tim now harnesses his resources and palpable energy and uses them for his annual Cruise for The Cure Show & Shine, the second of which took place on his own property in King City on Sunday, August 12th.
A long time lover of all things automotive – his first toys were Hot Wheels cars, which he still collects – Tim has grown to become a car collector, and is a car customizer of the highest degree. “All my cars are like pieces of art,” he says, adding that while previously into the classics and muscle cars, “lately I’ve been customizing new ones. I cannot leave well enough alone.”
It was this love of cars that inspired the main focus of the Cruise For The Cure. Owners of classic and modified cars bring in their vehicles for a show and shine in one of Tim’s open fields, and the public is invited to come in and see all the cars on display. Also featured is Tim’s own collection, which is now approaching twenty cars, a number of motorcycles, and one personally designed RV bus; Tim’s home away from home when he’s in Florida through the winter. “I’m a total snowbird,” he admits.
Tim also opens up his toy garage for the public, allowing people to see his extensive collection of Hot Wheels, and other toy vehicles of very size and type, along with some of his full-sized motorcycles, awards, and trophies.
Each of the show-and-shiners pays a nominal fee to participate, and the public comes in for just a donation. Tim brought in a merry-go-round, face painters, a 30X30-foot bouncy castle, a kids’ car ride, vendors, live music on a 30-foot stage… even an ATM for people to use. Jason Pottinger of the Toronto Argos showed up to sign autographs, and raffle tickets could be purchased for a chance to win prizes including big screen TVs and a sapphire ring. And all proceeds – every last penny earned at the event – goes directly to prostate cancer research. “We’ve donated $120,000 in the last two years,” Tim says, doing everything he can personally to help spread the word about the cause. “Young people are starting to get into hotrods, and they have to know about prostate cancer. They have to get checked. They need to know.”
The event has been funded in part by the ABC Group of companies, one of the world’s leading automotive systems and components manufacturers. Founded in part by Tim’s late father, the ABC Group is now headed by Tim’s mother, Helga, who is the combined Chairman, President and hief Executive Officer. Tim himself is Vice President of the company, having started working there – for his father – at the age of twelve. “The only job I ever had was working for my dad,” Tim says. “The hardest thing a kid can do is working for his dad, but I learned a lot of discipline doing it.”
Perhaps it’s that discipline that helps drive Tim to keep outdoing the previous Cruise For The Cure show. This year’s was bigger and better than last year’s. And he’s already got plans in mind for how to make it better still for next year, slated for Sunday, August 11th. Not many plans are a sure thing yet, but with Tim’s enthusiasm and big ideas, they sky’s the limit. Perhaps literally: one of his possibilities for next year is to have helicopter rides.
For more information about the Cruise For The Cure Show & Shine, surf to www.timandbrendasplace.com
Written by Reay Jespersen