My family and I would like to share a heart-warming story with your readers regarding the kindness, generosity and can-do spirit of the fine people of Santa Maria.

In June of this year, our 24-year-old daughter, Kristen Harlow, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Liposarcoma, which attacks the fat cells. After undergoing major surgery to remove a tumor the size of a grapefruit, and six grueling chemotherapy sessions, we are now waiting until after the first of the year for future tests to determine if her cancer is gone, or at least in remission.

A benefit tri-tip barbecue was held Oct. 24 at Santa Maria Tire on Broadway to help offset some of her medical costs. The outpouring of love and support from the entire community was beyond belief, to say the least. We sold close to 900 pre-event tickets and planned on feeding around 1,000 people. Our final count that Saturday was closer to 1,300. We ended up cooking 600 pounds of Santa Maria’s finest beef.

Our thanks go out to our sponsors. Without the generous donations of food, drinks and equipment from these exceptional companies and people, we never would have gotten this fundraiser off the ground.

To the hundreds of friends and family who worked tirelessly to make this day such a success, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. A special thanks goes out to the Righetti Booster Club for the use of their equipment, and the barbecue team for their hard work slaving over the pit for over seven hours.

Santa Maria is truly a one-of-a-kind place to live and raise a family. Don’t ever let anyone tell you different.

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Larry and Cathy Harlow

and family

Santa Maria

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