Mondays Don’t Suck teams with Gage Overton Memorial Fund to “burn out childhood cancer”

GTO best in show 2Pontiac GTO Best In Show

By: Forrest Cook

In case you missed it, here’s a little recap of the final Mondays Don’t Suck car show of 2018 at Action Park Alliance in Grand Prairie: Despite multiple inclement weather condition postponements, the finale ended up being the park’s largest event to date. This proves that Texans may drive a little crazy in bad weather, but we aren’t going to allow some newfangled rainy season to dampen our spirits. Anyone remember when “taking a raincheck” meant that you were waiting on a Blockbuster movie? Final attendance tallies rang in at about 1,500 dry souls, each one enjoying the revving of the engines in the moonlight at last.

gage flier

This time around, October 22 wasn’t just a Monday that didn’t suck, though. Skateboarders were seen sweeping pebbles from the lot to ensure some of the lower riding drifters didn’t catch a snag. This Monday was a special night. APA teamed up with The Gage Overton Memorial Fund to throw The Gage Overton Memorial Car Show, with all proceeds benefiting childhood cancer treatment and research at Children’s Medical Hospital. The show was originally scheduled for September 22 to honor Gage who died too young of a Synovial Sarcoma on the morning of September 23, 2017. The clouds opened up and the Jeebuses finally cooperated just long enough to shine some rays down on the little slice of heaven that night turned out to be.

Here are the winners!

Best in Show: Green 1967 Pontiac GTO
Asian Import: Red Mazda RX7 with wood propping up engine
Truck: White truck with gold suspension – Landon
Classic: Orange VW Bug – Thomas’ Dad
Bike: N/A
Domestic: Green Supercharged Chevy Camaro SS – Jorge
Interior: Chevy Camaro SS with Mobil logo – Collin Kirby
4 x 4: White Dodge Ram 2500 – Luna
Gage’s Choice: 1995 Purple Nissan 240SX – Clayton Pitts

Chrissy Cook Gomez established the Gage Overton Memorial Fund in her son’s name earlier this year with the initial goal of raising $50,000 for cancer treatment research at the Children’s Hospital Oncology Department to honor Gage’s memory. Gomez seeks to leave behind a legacy truly befitting such a bright and idealistic young man. There is no cap on the fund, however, $50,000 in donations is required for Gage to receive a commemorative plaque at Children’s Medical where he received the majority of his treatment. Gage himself was remarkably enthusiastic about the future of cancer research where genetic science has been blazing new trails with astonishing results.

His story is a heartbreaking one that many may find familiar. If not, one can only hope not to have to suffer the same tragic circumstances that he and his family endured. There is no shortage in the need of funding in the field of oncology. In the tale of man vs. nature, too often it is man who is bested, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a family that has not been impacted by the effects of “the big C”. Fuck cancer, forever!

When Gage was 16-years-old, he was diagnosed with a rare type of pediatric cancer. (synovial sarcoma) He underwent chemotherapy, radiation and several surgeries before going into remission for his senior year of high school. Many thought he’d won. “Kicked cancer in the nads,” they said.

He did normal things like hang out with his friends, drive around in his car, and get a girlfriend. One of his favorite things to do was work on his purple 240SX, which won in the “Gage’s Choice” category. The car was entered by its owner: Gage’s best friend Clayton Pitts.

Best in Show Pontiac GTOPontiac GTO Best In Show

Gage’s goal in life was to be an engineer. He graduated high school and moved to Orlando to live out his dream of working on street cars, and he did all these things with such drive and positivity. His optimism amazed those that knew him. How could this young man, who had been so unfairly put through so much unpleasantness, maintain such an uplifting view on life? Gage relapsed with a metastasis to his lungs shortly after his graduation, but his childlike optimism was never depreciated.

Trial after trial, he and his family heard about amazing advancements in cancer research, where T-cells are designed out of the patients’ own genes to eat away at the cancer from the inside out. Unfortunately, his tumors were growing and spreading too rapidly to qualify him for any of these experimental treatments. His passion for these treatments was exceeded only by his longing for peace. Gage died on September 23, 2017, and is survived by his mother Chrissy, father Ryan Overton, brother Jett, and countless other friends and family who knew him and loved him dearly.

The car, which is the inspiration for the show, is perhaps the embodiment of the young man’s idealistic dreams. The ’95 240 SX was purchased by his grandfather. The engine—rebuilt by Gage himself, and his friends. The purple paint job and body kit came from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, who heard the cries of a weary, cancer-ridden young teenager, but didn’t want to help the lad create a supersonic rocket car.

Through careful work and community donations the young man was able to turbocharge his SX and install other performance upgrades as well. Gage’s spirit lives on in that car, and in the hearts of those that knew him. His aspirations will reach fruition through the continued efforts of all the volunteers at his namesake foundation, which released this statement regarding their first-ever participation in an event on that scale:

“The grand total that we all raised after expenses from the Gage Overton Memorial Car Show was $2,275! Gage Overton Memorial Fund, a division of Charity Smith, will be sending a $5,000 check (this year’s proceeds) to Children’s Medical Center in Gage Overton’s memory that will go toward pediatric sarcoma research! We couldn’t have done this without you all this year, and we are so grateful for our community this Thanksgiving. Thank you! Thank you! We love you all! We will begin a new campaign soon for November 27.”

Another Mondays Don’t Suck is in the books, and the first of what will assuredly be many more, Gage Overton Memorial Car Show(s) was a startling success. Join in the community. Join in the fun. Here’s an addendum to the foundation’s statement as furnished by Children’s Medical:

Good Afternoon Christina,

It looks like in tribute gifts (not including what you are going to be sending this week), to date $4899.03 has been raised in memory of Gage.

These are gifts from 9/26/2017 – 10/30/2018.
It would seem that nearly $10K has been raised- WOW!!!
Please let me know if there is anything else I may provide.
Thank you,
Children’s Medical Center Foundation

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