The Okanagan Dream Rally, an event that places young people in the passenger seats of high-powered luxury cars, is returning this summer following a two-year hiatus.

The charity event began when co-founders of the August Family Foundation Matt and Michelle August lost an uncle to brain cancer in 2015.

They decided to hold a fundraiser to support the Central Okanagan Hospice House.

“As we were doing this fundraiser, my sister and I decided to start our own foundation and give back to the community that we’ve been doing business in for so long,” Matt said.

This year’s rally will take place July 30 in Kelowna. Typically it’s held on Bernard Avenue with the cars driving to Penticton but this year will look a little different since the street is closed to vehicle traffic. The drive will start at the Dolphins Statue, Matt said.

The last event was held in 2019 with more than 200 cars but was postponed since then due to the pandemic.

“It was tough to not do it. It’s my favourite day of the year so for it not to happen was definitely tough, just because with the pandemic and what people are going through and being a kid battling some sort of disease… it’s nice to have these things finally back,” Matt said.

Drivers and youth interested in participating in the event can fill out a form on the foundation's website.

“I look at say a kid that’s battling cancer, we’ve got a handful of drivers that have been diagnosed with cancer and beat cancer… so I go through them and put them with their driver,” he said.

Drivers and co-pilots often stay in contact following the event, he said.

All money raised from the rally supports the Ronald McDonald House B.C. and Yukon. This year, they aim to raise more than $1 million, Matt said.

There are many stories that Matt remembers when reviewing the submissions.

“We’ve had families spend one-and-a-half, almost two years at the Ronald McDonald House… and a lot of them have other kids and sports and it’s hard to bring the whole family,” he said.

The dream rally was first launched in 2016. For more information on the rally, visit its website.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.