Yuba City’s Geweke family has been in the car business for three generations now — and they’ve been in the business of generosity for nearly as long.
It all started when Larry Geweke partnered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation in 1997, launching a 5K in Yuba City. The event was a huge success and inspired the Gewekes to continue their work for local women suffering from female cancers, including funding mammograms for those who couldn’t afford them and establishing the Geweke Caring for Women Foundation providing financial assistants to patients in need.
It has since grown into 10 annual events between Yuba-Sutter and San Joaquin counties, and is known as Pink October. With the mission of keeping all funds local, in 2016 the Geweke Family donated $50,000 to help bring a 3D tomography machine to Yuba City — the first of its kind — ensuring the best standard of care for the community.
The state-of-the-art technology was immediately embraced. And, considering Yuba City is one of the counties in the nation with the highest diagnosed cases of breast cancer, the assistance couldn’t be more needed.
In fact, the need for this technology was so apparent that community fundraising immediately began to take place to secure a second machine. Unfortunately, a robust effort to raise funds — including from Sutter Health’s own employees — still left a shortfall.
This year, the Gewekes learned of the gap and again stepped up to the plate. The family committed to a generous $75,000 donation to completed the fundraising need and facilitate the purchase. And while for some, basking in a heroic glory might be tempting, to this family the priority is their mission: caring for women.
Larry’s daughter Nancy says the commitment is simply everything their dad taught them about business and about community, now coming full circle.
“My family moved here when I was three to buy the Ford store,” recalled Nancy. “Now my siblings and I are raising our kids right here. We’ve always known how important it is to give back.”
“They believe so much in their mission and the partnership with Sutter Health,” said Lisa Hume, director of philanthropy. “Our free mammograms throughout the month of October [to all uninsured or underinsured women] complement perfectly the services that the Geweke’s Pink October events offer, and their mission.”
“If someone’s going through this, we want them to have peace of mind they are getting great care,” said Nancy. “Helping these wonderful women has been a great gift to us as well.”