Tom Scamuffa’s drive to end ALS started when his wife Linda was diagnosed with ALS in 2006. Linda was aware of the disease from losing her father to it in the 1960’s when she was just 10 years old. He was a paratrooper in World War II and, at the time, they believed that the disease was not hereditary.
Linda was the youngest of five siblings and the only one to be afflicted with ALS. As soon as she received her diagnosis, she looked for any available resources and connected with The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
Much had changed in the 40 years since Linda’s father had passed. There was a greater understanding of ALS and more doctors who specialized in caring for people like her. The Chapter offered a wide range of services like wheelchairs and other essential equipment. One thing that remained the same was that there was still no cure. Tom and Linda prepared and did all that they could for each other during her battle. They quickly learned that they would not have to do this alone.
After Linda’s passing in 2008, Tom and his son decided to put on a car show in Chester County, PA, to raise money for ALS care and research. Tom hoped that they could honor Linda by bringing the community together to help others by investing in the Chapter’s mission.
They started slow, building awareness, and building up sponsors. Even before the first Car Show ended, Tom was thinking about how to make the event an even bigger draw for the next year.
The list of sponsors continued to grow year after year and the number of cars on display grew even more. As special as the classic cars were, though, the highlight for Tom was knowing that this event was lifting up Linda’s memory and providing resources for others with ALS.
In 2011, Tom established the Team Scamuffa Fund with the Chapter as a lasting tribute to Linda. This Named Fund would support the Chapter’s work by contributing to ALS research and patient and family services. As a result, Linda’s name would always be associated with the Chapter’s mission.
Instead of the Named Fund being an ending for Tom, it became an additional motivation to improve his annual Scamuffa Car Show. He supported the annual Phillies Phestival and attended the event to secure more items to raffle at his Car Show the following year. He was always looking for ways to be creative and successful so that his event could be bigger and better.
In 2022, Tom had his best Scamuffa Car Show yet, breaking a record with 185 cars on hand for the first big event after delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tom was inspired by the incredible turnout for his event in support of the ALS cause.
While Tom loves to see the engaged crowds and the impressive classic cars, the most important thing for him is always how much he can do to help “Strike Out ALS.” Every dollar that he raises is another step closer to better treatments and more effective care for ALS families. Every car that drives to his event reminds Tom Scamuffa of the love he has for Linda and encourages him to continue the fight against ALS in her memory.
Thank you, Tom, for all that you’ve done to support the ALS mission. All of us at The Greater Philadelphia Chapter appreciate your years of service to benefit all families who are touched by ALS.