WARMINSTER, PA — A car show set for this weekend in Warminster is meant to be a good time for a serious cause — bringing awareness to suicide prevention and mental health.
"Hope Is Not Canceled" is the theme of the show, which is sponsored by the Bucks County Suicide Prevention Task Force and NAMI Bucks County.
It is set for 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4, at the air strip at Warminster Community Park.
Decorated cars from the event will take part in a parade and be featured during a Nov. 7 "Hope Is Not Canceled" livestream. Officials say the events are meant to raise money and awareness at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has been a mental-health test for many.
" 'Hope in Not Cancelled' is the message we need as we navigate through the COVID-19 days," said Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, chairwoman of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners. "This is an event to find inspiration and a way to navigate emotional pains as well as a place to talk and find empathy with those who have faced challenging issues. I look forward to this event's virtual and real time with compassionate Bucks Countians."
The pandemic has forced both the task force and NAMI Bucks to cancel their usual fundraisers this year. That includes Bucks County's annual "Hold On, You Matter" walks.
"These walks are always meant to show people there's hope," said Suicide Prevention Task Force coordinator Kyle Esposito. "With people spending so much time isolated and apart, it's more important than ever for people to know that hope is not canceled. This massive, responsibly distanced, outdoor car show is designed to do just that."
The event will feature treats from Native Sweets' "Depressed Cake Shop" and Starbucks, as well as music by D.J. Maggie Mayy. Messages from state and local officials, people in recovery and survivors of suicide attempts will be broadcast locally.
Visitors also will have chance to meet — and, with a donation, submerge in a dunk tank — Bucks County's "mental health superheroes," NAMI Man and Zero Suicide Man. All funds raised will go to support suicide prevention programs offered online and in person in Bucks County.
Check-in for people who would like to enter decorated cars begins at 1 p.m. at the special events entrance of the park, located at 350 E. Bristol Rd.
If you are having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you may call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) or Bucks County Family Services at 215-355-6000.