Car show to benefit veterans

American Legion Post 69 is teaming up with a nonprofit that helps area veterans by putting on car shows. The American Legion is planning a resource fair as well for local veterans, including representatives from Veterans Affairs and other agencies that provide support to veterans.

“The Car Show for the Vets” will be Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Veterans Memorial Building, 649 San Benito St., in Hollister.

Hy Libby, a member of the Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion Riders in San Benito County, has coordinated similar car shows in Carmel, Pacific Grove and Salinas. The organization hosts the annual event “Cars and Bikes and Stars and Stripes” each year at the Menlo Park Veteran Affairs Hospital. This year’s event will be on Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We make donations to down on their luck veterans,” Libby said. “We manage to make moderate, but significant donations.”

Libby gave some examples of ways his agency has helped veterans, such as purchasing a water heater for a Marina veteran and his family, or putting a recently returned veteran up in a hotel while the veteran searches for an apartment or a job. They also purchased black skateboard helmets for veterans with head injuries to use when they leave the VA hospital. The board members seek suggestions from other veterans’ organizations on who might be a candidate for help.

The entry fee for the car show is $25 and goes to support similar activities. The American Legion Post 69 will be selling lunch, including beverages as a fundraiser for the post, and there will be a few other vendors on site for the event.

The entered vehicles will be lined up on the streets around the Veterans Memorial Building. The group will give out more than two dozen awards, one for each decade a well as some more specific prizes. Veterans who attend the car show will be able to vote for their favorites as well, with a trophy going to the Veterans’ choice.

Libby, who co-founded the Car Show for the Vets nonprofit with Kathee McFarland, said there seems to be a lot of overlap between people who are interested in car shows and those that support veterans’ causes.

“This is a good shot in the arm for the American Legion here,” said Commander Joe Love. “We can do something for the vets and groups that help vets.”

At the event, Love said the American Legion will have a barrel to collect American flags for proper disposal. The group works with local Boy Scouts, who can earn a merit badge for helping dispose of the flags.

For more information or to register a vehicle, visit www.carshowforthevets.com.

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