Will Ferrell Stays Classy in San Diego

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Vito Di Stefano

He wasn't Ron Burgundy, Ricky Bobby or even George W. Bush -- the comedian who coined the phrase “Stay Classy San Diego,” was in town to lend humor to a very serious cause.

"It's really one of the more fulfilling things myself and my wife get to do,” said former Saturday Night Live star Will Ferrell.

For years, he’s done all types of fundraisers to support  “Cancer for College,” a Vista charity that gives out scholarships to students in remission. On Saturday—it was all about a pub crawl. At $250 a ticket, the event was completely sold out within hours.

“San Diego has a lot of great breweries,” said Ferrell, as he was surrounded by fans. “It’s a great way to get to know them and also raise scholarship money and awareness for kids with cancer.”

The event first and last stop was at the “Blind Lady Ale House” in Normal Heights. The famous comedian shared the spot light with true survivors.  

One of them is Kelly Purcell; a recent college grad and recipient of the “Cancer for College” scholarship. 

“I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 15. So I went through Chemo for about a year, year and a half while I was in high school,” said Purcell. “”Obviously, it took a huge toll on my family and not only physically and mentally but also financially as well.”

Craig Pollard started the foundation in 1993. As a two time cancer survivor and amputee. Pollard noticed that most parents who had a child with cancer, spent their entire savings on treatments. With little money left over, higher education wasn’t a priority.

“Without this scholarship, one, I'd probably be one in major debt, or two, not even have gone to college,” said scholarship recipient Kara McMichen. “It changed my life.”

Ferrell and Pollard met in College. They were both fraternity brothers while they attended the University of Southern California.  For over a decade, the team has used Ferrell’s star power and humor to raise money.

“I'm still waiting to get that call from the Packers or the Steelers,” said the comedian jokingly. “If they need an extra player, I'm ready.”

To cut down costs, the foundation only has two employees. The board works on a volunteer basis, so that roughly 98 percent of all proceeds go directly to the students.

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