Car show raises money for injured high school football player

The Sixth Annual Pico Festival cruised into Virginia Avenue Park in Santa Monica on Sunday Oct. 2, and held numerous community-building events that included a performance by the Santa Monica High School Jazz band, numerous arts and entertainment booths, a raffle, and an antique car show. The primary focus of the event was to raise money and awareness for the Santa Monica High School football team’s Cody Williams, a Samohi football player who was severely injured during a football game in 2009 and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.

Williams needs money to be contributed to his fund in order to continue his therapy.

"The entire event is organized as a car show," said Williams, who hopes this event will help him pay for a few more months of therapy. "It's put together like a fundraiser to raise money for the football team and me, so they're auctioning items off. The money that everyone paid to be in the car show kind of goes towards me and the football team."

Williams suffered a severe spinal injury during a football game while attending Santa Monica High School, and requires constant therapy.

Williams has been able to take a few steps on his own after years of therapy.

"I do physical therapy in Northridge," said Williams. "I've started to walk on a walker and I can walk 30 feet now. I lift weights and I'm progressing a lot. When I first got hurt, I wasn't able to even sit up; now I'm able to stand and take a few steps on my own," he said.

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District did not offer any insurance to help pay for William's injury on the football field.

Donations from the car show will help extend therapy for Williams for the next few months, but money needed for his continued therapy in 2012 is running short.

The car show at the event brought awareness to Williams' situation and featured a number of antique automobiles that included such notables as a cherry red 1961 Mercedes Benz 190 SL, a 1957 metallic Persian blue Chevy truck, a 1946 Woodie, and a 1972 orange Cheville Dukes-of-Hazard-looking muscle car.