For Chris Bergsma and Tom Triscari, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty award winning real estate team based in the company’s Indian Wells office, the Dr. George Charity Car Show is an annual fundraising event of which they are proud and honored to support year after year, with 2019 being no exception.
Named after Dr. Sebastian George, a prominent, local oncologist killed in a traffic accident in 2002, he was the co-founder of the non-profit Desert Cancer Foundation, which raises funds providing financial support to uninsured or underinsured patients and their families. Upon his death, former patients asked the Palm Springs Crusin’ Association to start a fundraiser in his name which they accepted without hesitation.
On February 9th, 2019, the Dr. George Charity Car Show celebrated its 17th year. The show has raised over $845,000 since its inception in 2002. With each dollar donated equaling approximately $10 worth of services, the total amount raised to date has generated over $8 million for care and treatment in the community. The goal for 2019, according to the DCF is to reach the $100,000 mark for the annual contribution.
This year, Chris and Tom have raised funds and donated a racer’s driving suit as well as a pedal car which they have designed to replicate a 1955 Chevy. Children from the ages of 5 – 7 wearing the racing outfits, formed a team of two with their race crew. The winners received a 4’ tall championship award, and each participant received a Finish Place award. Afterward, the specially designed outfit and car were donated to the YMCA. Needless to say, pictures do not do justice to the adorableness of the race.
“We have watched the Dr. George Car Show grow into a very successful and heavily attended event,” says Chris. “This year, the First Annual Pedal Car race offers 12 pedal cars and promises to add additional fun for families while supporting an exceptional cause in honor of a beloved man.”
Perhaps what surprises those that initially started this fundraiser is how much this event has grown in popularity. The first year there were 375 collector vehicle entries. Today, the Dr. George Car Show has grown to be the largest one day car show in California, with over 1,000 cars registered to show. “This event relies totally on volunteers,” says Tom. “This year, we had 150 signed up to ensure vendors, a silent auction, raffle and more were ready to go. Of course, 100 percent of the money raised went to the DCF.”
This event is held on the spectacular grounds of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Activities for the week surrounding the event included the First Annual El Paseo Auto Auction on Wednesday at the Gardens on El Paseo, a “Cacklefest” featuring historic dragsters that will fire up their engines, a “Young Guns Corral” with rides of those car owners under 30 years of age, a “Special Interest Car Corral” hosting some rare, exciting cars and magazine featured cars. Special guests included Allen Grant, former World Champion Shelby Racing Team Driver, Peter Brock designer of the iconic 1963 Corvette Split-window coupe, Jim McGee, winningest team manager in F-1 and Indianapolis racing, and John Kraman, Mecum Auction Commentator and car authority.
As busy real estate agents for Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, Chris and Tom have called the Desert their home for many years. Together, they offer concierge service with an intimate knowledge of the Coachella Valley and its numerous communities with clients seeking their expertise when it comes time to buy and sell residential, vacation, retirement and investment properties.
“We know how lucky we are to live here,” adds Chris. “Events such as the Dr. George Charity Show, along with American Outreach which raises money for wheelchairs for veterans and other deserving people, are two charities we have chosen to concentrate our efforts. Our community is such a giving place, and so eager to help those in need, that we truly can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty’s Indian Wells office is located at 74-890 CA. Highway 111, Indian Wells, CA. 92210