SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (EYEWITNESS NEWS WBRE/WYOU) – It’s unusual to see hundreds of antique and exotic cars sparkling in a mall parking garage.
But that was the scene Saturday night in Lackawanna County for a special cause.
Engines revved throughout the Marketplace at Steamtown parking garage in downtown Scranton.
Car and motorcycle enthusiasts shined up their rides and the spaces on four floors for this one-of-a-kind car show.
“It’s pretty unique. It’s the first one I’ve been to that was this type of show in a garage like this, I’m used to being out in the grass and such, but the good part is, no bugs,” George Rosser of Avoca said.
“Usually it’s in a field or it’s in a park, something like that, but this was very nice! Last year we came, we were up on the roof, now the roof is completely crowded so we came down here,” Linda and Matthew Salvia of Clarks Summit explained.
Among the sea of vehicles, this blue Subaru is the star of the show. It belonged to 21-year-old Cody Wood of Clarks Summit who died by suicide in 2016.
“Cody was an avid car enthusiast. He loved anything to do with cars, especially Subarus, and that is what brought us to this event,” Cody’s mom Nori Price said.
As a way to commemorate his life, “Cody’s Car Show” has been held annually for the past six years.
“It’s bittersweet in a way because Cody isn’t here and he would love this event, but the amount of support we get and the funding for the programs that it will produce, my heart swells with gratitude and joy for all of this,” Price said.
To host the event, Price teamed up with the Lou Ruspi Jr. Foundation, a northeastern Pennsylvania nonprofit named after an Eynon man who also lost his life to suicide in 2011.
All proceeds benefit the foundation that provides community mental health education and wellness services.
“Nori and her family lost Cody to suicide, and I lost my brother to suicide, and my family went through such tragic times. We collided forces and realized our pain and hardship can be given back to the community to let others know that they’re not alone through these struggles,” Teressa Ruspi, Co-Founder & Executive Director of the LRJ Foundation, said.
Both Ruspi and Price hope their efforts spare other families the pain of a preventable tragedy.
“If one person got helped by this, it makes it all worthwhile,” Price said.
If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available 24/7 by dialing 988 to reach the suicide hotline.