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Reverse Car Drawing Will Pay Tribute to Dan Rallis

This year’s Reverse Car Drawing figures to be an emotional evening.

Coaches vs. Cancer of Penn State will host its 15th annual Reverse Car Drawing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Over the course of the evening, the event will pay tribute to the late Dan Rallis, who passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer.

Rallis was the founder of the RCD, as Steve Greer, former director of both Coaches vs. Cancer and the Bestwick Foundation, pointed out.

“Dan was the architect of the RCD and he got his entire family to ‘own’ the RCD,” Greer said. “After attending other car raffles, Dan knew that the community would respond favorably to a car auction that had more pizzazz.”

With that in mind, Rallis went out and added some “pizzazz.”

“Dan didn’t just want to have an auction; he wanted to create an evening that people would remember, that would make people interact and be social … and that the community would talk about and line up to come back again the following year. He wanted an outdoor venue … somewhere where the participants could get up walk around and not be confined to a table of eight,” Greer explained.

So, all the RCD needed was a venue.

“We became friendly with the first general manager of the State College Spikes, and they offered up their venue for the RCD and have been very generous in continuing their commitment. So, he got the venue that he wanted,” Greer said.

Once the venue was secured, entertainment was next.

“We contacted local bands that knew how to perform to large crowds but also knew their place in the event — background music. We settled on Tommy Wareham and his band because they had a passion to play in this event … and (they) were extremely popular,” Greer said.

Wareham will return this year with another local band, Lowjack.

Rallis made the event larger than life. He added bells and whistles to an already spectacular event.

“His imagination hit steroids. He always had something up his sleeve that he wouldn’t tell me until the last moment — like the Blue Band, sky divers, helicopters, fireworks, et cetera. He also had fundraising activities on the side — (a) home run derby with Penn State’s baseball coach pitching, golf chipping challenges, 50-50 raffles that were easy sells and fun activities,” Greer said.

This year’s car will be a replica 1965 Shelby Cobra. Rallis helped select the car before his passing.

“I think Dan picked the model and (his son) Chris searched the U.S. and found it. Dan said that the initial car was a ’65 Cobra and he wanted this year’s car to be the same. Dan knew that he was dying and that there would be a good chance that he wouldn’t be around for the event. It was important to Dan to come full circle on the car,” Greer said.

Greer knows that Sept. 14 will be an emotional night for all those involved with the RCD.

“I think that it’s gonna be a tough, draining night for those who worked with Dan or who were very close to Dan. I just hope that what we do is a good representation of the RCD in Dan’s eyes,” Greer said. “And I know that it won’t be complete because the man just did things that no one else could recreate.”

Funds raised from the Reverse Car Drawing will be restricted to transportation and lodging programs like the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery and the Hope Lodge, which support the nearly 730 people diagnosed with cancer in Centre County every year. The mission of CVC is to bring hope, help fund research and provide direct support to those battling the disease.

Tickets for the event are $350 and admits two attendees. To purchase tickets, visit cvcreversecar.org.


What: 15th annual Reverse Car Drawing

When: 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14

Where: Medlar Field at Lubrano Park

More info: cvcreversecar.org