ST. MARYS — Historic cars of different models and colors lined a parking lot at a local car dealership this weekend, as the dealership held its annual cruise-in, with the proceeds from the event benefitting a former NFL football player’s foundation that honors his son.
“This is our 12th year,” Coordinator Brian Engel said of the MOPAR or No Car St. Marys Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Cruise-in held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, which boasted approximately 150 cars.
“A lot of the guys came from Indiana,” Engel said. “Some of the guys are from as far as 200 miles out.”
The proceeds from the cruise-in, Engel said, go to a nonprofit organization each year. This year’s recipient was the Jovante Woods Foundation, which was formed by former Cincinnati Bengals running back Ickey Woods.
“This was something they let us come in and be a part of,” Woods said. “It’s very special to me and something very special to be a part of.”
Woods created the foundation after his son passed away from an asthma attack in August when he was 16. Woods started the foundation in September to go toward asthma awareness, research, organ donation and a scholarship.
“It’s raising money for asthma research and organ donation — his son donated his organs and he saved five lives by doing that,” St. Marys Chrysler Owner Rick Green said. “Each year we pick and organization we want to give the money to.”
The Jovante Woods Foundation — raises funds for medical research purposes, and Engel noted he chose it after hearing Woods speak in the past.
“I heard Ickey speak at a school function — he was one of the most moving speakers (I’ve heard) of my life,” Engel said. “It’s a good cause, and he’s a really good person.”
To raise funds, Green noted during the cruise-in they hold a 50/50 raffle, raise donations and more.
“We raised over $2,600 for the Jovante Woods Foundation,” he said.
Woods thanked the group for picking his foundation as a recipient.
“I’d like to thank them for having us and for coming out and raising money for my son’s foundation,” he said. “It’s a very, very wonderful thing.”
Engel said he was pleased with Saturday’s turnout, despite a few afternoon showers.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “We’ve had a good turnout, and we’ve raised a good amount of money.”