Desert Toyota has continued a holiday tradition of helping local charities, with the latest recipient, American Cancer Society, receiving $20,500, proceeds from the fourth annual Desert Toyota charity golf tournament.
"We had a glorious day for our golf tournament," said Jason Kirste, a 14-year veteran of the car business and a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with stage four melanoma in early 2000. "From a personal standpoint, this raised awareness to an ugly disease. With every dollar that's donated, the potential for a cure gets that much greater.
"This was a great opportunity for us to reach out and help others who are experiencing cancer. Doctors keep getting more efficient with the treatment. We have a nice program with Angel Park and had the opportunity to not only enjoy a game of golf but also raise thousands of dollars for a great cause.
"Cancer cuts lives way too short and we really need to work hard to help. I got very lucky and we all want to see others have the same luck that I had," he said.
Kirste had two major surgeries in April and June of 2000.
"The surgeries were rough, but they were worth it, for sure," Kirste said. "We had a 1-year-old at the time and two years after I was diagnosed, we also had triplets. Needless to say, I have had an interesting life."
Kirste said he will never forget Dr. Paul Michael, an oncologist who has practiced in Las Vegas for many years.
"He's a wonderful man, a wonderful husband, a great family guy and certainly a wonderful doctor. I can now call him one of my best friends, and besides that, he's a great partner on the golf course."
Melissa Jeanne Arias, who is the director of distinguished events for the America Cancer Society, praised the dealership for its donation.
"It's wonderful to see companies like Desert Toyota give back to this community. Without help like this, we wouldn't be able to guide patients and their families during tremendous struggles. When someone is dealing with cancer, the disease literally becomes consuming," she said.
Collectively, the four special holiday events sponsored by Desert Toyota have generated more than $50,000 to help charities.
Desert Toyota is headed by General Manager Kalei Dudoit. The dealership is at 6300 W. Sahara Ave. For more information, call 702-871-4111 or visit www.desertautogroup.com.