Car show benefits Wounded Warriors

PARKERSBURG – It was a Cruise-In for a cause Saturday as New Hope Baptist Church sponsored its fourth annual antique car show, with part of the proceeds from the event going to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

The car show at the Rosemar Road church was co-sponsored by the Pioneer Antique Auto Club.

Event organizer Ron Adams, with the church, said he wasn’t sure how much money in total would be raised by the event. There about 30 cars registered early and they were hoping for 50 by the end of registration. Each entrant paid $15; of that $5 went to the Wounded Warrior Project.

There were also donation boxes, a silent auction and from the three Best of Show awards, a donation of $75 each was donated from the prize in the winner’s name to the program, Adams said.

This was the fourth year for the event, with different beneficiaries of the proceeds each year, including church missions, he said.

Heather and Josh Smith, of Marietta, were out celebrating the event Saturday, showing off their 1971 Chevrolet Corvette while also supporting a great cause.

“We customized the Corvette to look like the race cars of the 1970s. We go to about a dozen or two dozen car shows a year depending on our schedule. One of the reasons we chose this car show to participate in was because part of the proceeds were going to the Wounded Warrior Project,” Josh Smith said.

While not a vet himself, Joseph said he does have veterans in his family.

“We have much respect for veterans,” Heather Smith said. “I think events like this say a lot about the community, that we appreciate our vets and we want the vets to know we appreciate the fact that they fought for us and we are free because of them. This is the least we can do is to come out and promote a project like this.”

The Wounded Warrior Project provides injured vets and their families with a variety of services through rehabilitation programs, support and activities.

Members of the Wood County Detachment of the Marine Corps League were invited to attend on Saturday.

“Community events like this do help raise awareness,” said Jim Furr, with the Marine Corps League, Wood County Detachment.

Many of the Marine Corps League members who turned out Saturday were Vietnam era veterans.

“As you know, we didn’t get much of a welcome back when we returned home, this gives us the opportunity to meet the people and the people to give us a welcome back, which they have been super about doing. It definitely makes up for the way things were back in the 1960s,” Furr said.

The league promotes the preservation of the traditions and interests of the U.S. Marine Corps, aiding Marines and former Marines and their widows and orphans. The league perpetuates the history of the corps. Furr said the group was asked to attend the event to set up a recruitment table and participate in the opening ceremonies.

Adams said the idea to donate to the Wounded Warriors began after someone suggested in lieu of flowers for a funeral donations be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“That’s how we got the idea. This year’s theme is ‘Support Our Troops,’ and it’s worked out pretty good,” Adams said. “Last year the proceeds went to the church missions, and some of the funds raised from the food sales this year will also go to help our church missions.”

Adams said a memorial was also set up inside the church with photographs and the names of some area veterans to raise awareness of the troops and honor the local heroes. The memorial featured vets from World War I to more current conflicts.

Dan Walkup, one of the event organizers, was among the veterans on the wall.

“That’s me on the border right before Desert Storm,” Walkup said pointing to one of the photos on display.

Counselors from the Parkersburg Veterans Center were on site, along with the Mobile Vet Center, a traveling service provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs designed to provide counseling services to veterans in remote areas.