Car show raises money for charity

There's just one thing driving tomorrow's Autorama Illawarra car and bike expo - the need to support those affected by suicide.

Proceeds from the inaugural event will be used to help set up a post-suicide support service in the Illawarra, which could possibly have more far-reaching effects.

Giovanni Zappia organised the expo after he realised there wasn't a service in the state that provided support to those who had lost someone to suicide.

"If we can start one here, it'll have a domino effect [and possibly be used as a model by other communities]," Mr Zappia said.

A few years ago, Mr Zappia was at a funeral in Tasmania for a 22-year-old who had committed suicide. He noticed support being provided to the family and later discovered it was from StandBy, a 24-hour post-suicide support and counselling service to assist those bereaved by suicide.

StandBy operates in Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, but not in NSW.

The event, which is being run by the Rotary Club of Wollongong South and the NSW Muscle Car Association, will feature more than 160 cars and 40 motorbikes.

Mr Zappia said the entire event was community-based and would feature a range of cars including Ford GTs, Holden Monaros, and Toranas.

"It's all slowly coming together," he said.

Displays will range from police cars, motorbikes, vintage and muscle cars.

Alongside the vehicles, there will be live bands, face painting, jumping castles and a petting zoo.

Information from stalls including Lifeline, Rotary, Berkeley Community Centre and Bikers Against Child Abuse will be available.

Autorama Illawarra will be held at the Berkeley Sports Club tomorrow between 9am and 3pm.

Show members Giovanni Zappia, Nick Ricchiuti and Peri Mylonakis. Pictures: KEN ROBERTSON

Show members Giovanni Zappia, Nick Ricchiuti and Peri Mylonakis. Pictures: KEN ROBERTSON

Entry is $7 and a donation for children under 15, with all proceeds going to Lifeline South Coast.

For more information, call 0418 966 323.

Lifeline: 13 11 14


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