Many of the classic cars from Audrey and Gord Stebanuk's collection were moved out of their garage, replaced with tables and chairs, a bar, an array of silent auction items, and - of course - a little dance space.
The South Langley couple played host to 300 of their closest friends and fellow car enthusiasts recently in what Audrey vows will become an annual garage tour in aid of cancer research.
For years, Audrey had spoke with a late friend about creating a joint art and car show for charity. The pair never got around to it, her friend passing away a year ago Monday with cancer.
"In the past few years, ourselves and many of our friends, family, and business associates have been stricken with this horrible infliction - cancer," Audrey said - herself diagnosed with cancer three months before her late friend.
Well, Audrey didn't want another year to pass without realizing that dream of a charity event.
With one week's notice, she pushed ahead with their plans, mass emailed everyone she knew, hit up a variety of merchants for silent auction items, and - with a lot of help from family and friends - went to work cleaning out their garage and converting it into party central.
The idea and a lot of hard work paid off big. The five-hour event, that actually extended to almost 12 hours, netted almost $8,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
"Everyone was so willing to help on this_ it was just wonderful," Audrey said, already planning to make this an annual event - although she's thinking of moving it to late spring so more car collectors can bring their cars, too.
Although Audrey is fighting her own battle with cancer, she insisted the focus of the event and their fundraising efforts must be on how everyone came together to make a difference.
"It will be ongoing for me for a while, and hopefully, I recover from it," she shared. "But I don't want this to be about me. I want it to be about finding a cure, and all the great people who share that vision."
She sent out a thank you to all who pitched in, including the team at Buy-Low in Brookswood, that came through - despite her eleventh hour request - with an "incredible donation" of food, pop, and condiments for the barbecue.
"In this world, you get what you give, and I believe it's better to give than receive," she said, so impressed by people's generosity.
"The response from people was phenomenal," Audrey added.
The single largest donation came in the form of a $1,000 cheque, but she said everyone in attendance gave what they could, and that ended up being a lot by the end of the night. Audrey was appreciative for it all, pleasantly surprised when she tallied up the contributions, that - all in - there was almost $8,000 for the cancer society.
"A huge thanks to all who attended, donated their time. As well as being very generous with their time, people gave prizes, food for the barbecue, donations, and entertainment. Elvis (Steve Elliott) you were wonderful. Everyone, thanks for making this a very fun filled and successful day all for cancer research. We can all help make a difference toward finding a cure."