Cruzin’ for a Cauze to aid Christina House

SALEM – Car enthusiasts can go Cruzin’ for a Cauze to help domestic violence victims during Cigarette World’s third annual car cruise from 3 to 5 p.m. June 14 in the store parking lot.

Registration begins at 2 p.m. for $5 per vehicle, with free car-themed gift bags containing various car items given to the first 25 who register. The event goes hand-in-hand with the fourth annual raffle baskets giveaway, with tickets available now for $1 a ticket or six for $5 for a variety of themed baskets.

All proceeds from both the raffles and Cruzin’ for a Cauze benefit the Christina House battered women’s shelter which serves as a safe haven for women and children fleeing their attackers.

“It’s our chance to give back. The community has always supported us and we want them to know that we care,” Cigarette World store manager Samantha Burkey said.

Prizes for the vehicles include a first place trophy, People’s Choice Award and Kids’ Choice Award. Cigarette World is located in the plaza off of Cunningham Road across from the Walmart entrance, but has an address of 2789 E. State St., Salem.

The Chinese auction of raffle baskets and other items valued up to $100 will include a smoker’s basket, a campers’ basket containing a four-person tent with two youth sleeping bags, three lottery baskets valued at $50 each donated by the Ohio Lottery Commission, a garden wagon donated by a customer, $50 bocce gift certificates from the Guilford Lake Grille, $50 gift certificates from Tiny Tots Depot in Lisbon, two free hair cuts from Great Clips, free pizza gift certificates from East of Chicago, a beaded with diamonds necklace donated by a customer, three cigar baskets from Romeo & Juliet Cigars, valve covers from Summit Auto and many more gift cards and miscellaneous basket items.

Tickets can be purchased now at the store or during the event, which is held on a Saturday this year instead of Sunday. There’s also a 50/50 raffle and mystery grab bags for kids, smokers and miscellaneous for $1 each. There will be balloons for kids and $1 face painting.

Food will be available for purchase, including sloppy joes, hot dogs and root beer floats, with combo specials. A DJ will be provided, courtesy of Salem Sewer and Drain Company, and KLG Ambulance will be on hand with an ambulance for people to explore.

The quest to help the local shelter started with the store’s previous manager, Jackie Spencer, who sold chances for a patio set in 2011. The following year, she gathered enough donations from businesses and individuals to do a series of raffles for various gift baskets and started Cruzin’ for a Cauze. The event was even bigger last year and each year the business has managed to increase the size of its donation to the Christina House.

Christina House Case Manager Debbie Chaffin said the fundraiser means a lot to the shelter and those who operate it because the grants from the federal government have been decreasing.

“Any amount we get is a help to us and we appreciate it,” she said.

Burkey said they’ll accept any kind of donation that will benefit a woman or child.

“It’s just a good cause for your community,” she said, adding she hopes people will come out and support it.

She offered thanks to store owners David and Karie Newman and to Spencer for all her assistance this year.

“Thanks to her for helping us carry on the tradition,” Burkey said.

Store clerk Melissa Jenkins praised Burkey for what she’s given to the project – a project she described as “dear to our hearts.” When women and their children seek shelter, she said they’re scared and the Christina House “gives them a little bit of normal.”

She said she’s proud to be helping the women and children who suffer on a day-to-day basis.

The Christina House is operated through the Christina Center and Catholic Charities, which has an office in Lisbon at (330) 420-0845. The 24-hour crisis lines can be reached at (330) 420-0036 and (330) 420-0037.