Sometimes, during our toughest moments, we need to rely on the things that give us joy and solace. When Dan Neve’s family was affected by cancer, he turned to his love of cars to not only help him through the tough times, but as a way to raise funds to help cure this disease. The result is the Cruise for a Cause, which has seen Dan travel the country raising awareness and running an annual event.
Ford has made Cruise for a Cause a reality by being a major friend and supporter of what I do. — Dan Neve, Cruise For A Cause
“On Thanksgiving Day 2009 after my mother informed me that she had breast cancer it had entered our lives. But six weeks later, the second week of January 2010 changed our lives forever. This is when my wife was also diagnosed with this disease,” Dan explained. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do more than be just a supportive shoulder for my family, I needed to make a difference and so Cruise for a Cause was born.”
This is the one that started it all. Dan Neve’s black 2010 Ford Shelby Mustang is appropriately nicknamed, Hope. Its mission is raising money and awareness for breast and prostate cancer by touring the country and participating in the annual Fall Ford Fest in Wisconsin.
A longtime Mustang enthusiast, Dan was smitten by the 2010 Shelby GT500 and had one on order. When the car arrived it seemed only fitting to turn it into a rolling billboard for his cancer-fighting cause. He quickly got involved with events, including the SVT Superfest, which led to an invite to display the car in the Shelby American booth at the Annual EAA Airventure event. That led to a shot at displaying his GT500 at SEMA, where he connected with Ford.
“Ford has made Cruise for a Cause a reality by being a major friend and supporter of what I do,” Dan said. “From placing me right out front at Ford national shows, including the 50th, to now having me showcase a 2019 Bullitt Mustang in our colors.”
Having set out to raise just $10,000 for breast and prostate cancer research, Dan has since donated over $300,000 to this worthy cause. And his efforts continue with the aforementioned modern Mustangs, and his ongoing Fall Ford Fest event held in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
These days a pair of modern Mustangs, including a 2019 Mustang Bullitt, helps spread the Cruise for the Cause word across the land. “I have had the 2019 Bullitt since June 1 and have truly fell in love with it!” Dan said. “…With the 480 horsepower it is a very fun and easy car to drive. I highly recommend it. I will continue to show the car at all of the events I attend the remainder of the year, what better way to get from point A to B. I have already traveled over 5,000 miles in just over a month and love the experience.”
“Our Annual Fall Ford Fest grew from an annual SVT gathering of Wisconsin and Minnesota members into what it is today, an event that lasts for four days and makes a huge difference in our hope of raising funds to support cancer research to find a cure!” Dan said. “It offers a little of everything, from an autocross school with Gateway Classic Mustang to a evening banquet, which has featured past guest speakers like Kenny Brown, Lee Holman, and Jack Roush Jr. One of the exciting things about the banquet is that we have a live auction offering many one-of-a-kind items we collect over the year that only Ford lovers would appreciate. That certainly helps with us raise more funds.”
This year’s event takes place on October 4-7 at the Chula Vista Resort, and current Mustang chief engineer, Carl Widman is the keynote speaker. It will include the aforementioned autocross and banquet as well as a traditional car show, dyno runs, guided road tours, a golf tournament, and more. You can register right here, and if you can’t attend and just want to donate to the cause, you can do so here.