Valley Village car show

Valley Village car show

Rylic Alexander brings his 2021 Toyota Supra to the Car Show event for Valley Village Developmental Center Community at Pierce College Parking Lot 1 in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Dec. 10, 2023. Photo by Myraneli Fabian.

European and Japanese tuners with a touch of American muscle were on display for Valley Village residents on Sunday in Parking Lot One from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Valley Village members organized the car show for their residents, many of whom are avid car enthusiasts, as a way to get them to interact with their community. Valley Village is a non-profit organization that provides healthcare and enrichment for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.


Senior Director of Development and Donor Relations Matthew Swearman shared that the car shows started small and were organized as a way to get their residents to interact with their community during the COVID-19 Pandemic.


“It is really important that our clients get out into the communities where they live and experience them, make friends and build relationships with people in the community,” Swearman said. “We wanted to find a creative way to get our clients out in the community, and we found a way to get them safely together at one of our facilities and host a small car show.”


Vehicles at the car show included several Nissan R35 GT-Rs, a 1991 Acura Integra GS, a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, a 1983 Volkswagen Caddy and a second generation Ford Mustang Boss 302.


Owner of a 1991 Acura Integra Suresh Melwani shared why he came out to the event.


“You always have to give back to the cause. You cannot always take,” Melwani said. “For some of these people, it is a lot for them. I am sure they talked about it for weeks. They hear the music, they see the cars.”


Wanting to give back to the disabled community, volunteer George Urizar reached out to Swearman about four years ago, and he learned that one of the activities Valley Village residents enjoyed doing was visiting the Petersen Automotive Museum which they were unable to do because of COVID-19 lockdowns. Urizar shared that he also has a passion for cars and that the reason the car shows were organized was because “it intrigued both sides of the party.”


“It was a match that happened organically and what we decided to do is bring the cars to them,” Urizar said.


Urizar also expressed what he hopes the car shows may achieve. 


“The primary goal is to have the members come out and have a place to hang out and have some fun,” Urizar said. “In regards to my friends that helped me put this together, for them to get exposed to a whole different world that otherwise we are fortunate to be able to drive these cars.”


Development and Communications Manager Rizwana Jmari explained the benefits events like the car show have on the residents.


“It is for them to go out and mix with the community,” Jmari said. “They like to talk with people they do not know, which is important for them to feel included. There are some of them who are very interested in cars.”


For additional information on Valley Village, call (818) 587-9490 or visit their website at