ELLENVILLE – What better way to pay tribute to the men and women of our armed services in the lead-up to Memorial Day than to attend the second annual Wings & Wheels for Warriors benefit this Saturday, May 20, at the Joseph Y. Resnick airport outside of Ellenville.
"Every dollar goes to DAV," noted Dwight Coombe of Sprague & Killeen, which initiated the successful new event last year, which features approximately 150 different show cars, trucks, jeeps, motorcycles, antique tractors and planes while raising money through registration fees to benefit Disabled American Veterans (DAV). "We learned a lot from our first year and hope this year will be better with more signage and better organization."
Coombe noted how attendance was being encouraged this second time around through promotion to car clubs, as well as via newspaper ads, social media and email reminders to past participants. He also pointed out how the funds raised from the event have gone to help veterans access transportation to medical appointments, counseling costs for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, assistance with benefits and paperwork, as well as accessing employment options. For further information regarding DAV, Coombe suggested, interested persons may view their website at www.dav.org.
As for the event itself, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Coombe noted that beyond planes and automobiles, spectators are invited to participate in family fun activities such as face painting and music, available plane rides, and taking advantage of some great food and beverages.
While the event is free, and the cost of hosting the event is covered by his insurance firm, which makes sure all booths and events run smoothly with over thirty volunteers on hand, Coombe was adamant about stressing donations to DAV, to which every dollar raised goes. Last year, over a thousand turned out for the event, raising over $7,000 for DAV with 120 vehicles registered for the show.
The first 150 vehicles present for the show will receive a dash plaque, while fifty trophies will be awarded to the top vehicles during a ceremony starting at noon.
As a footnote: This year's Wings & Wheels for Warriors event falls on the 67th anniversary of Armed Forces Day, which Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson first announced on August 31, 1949 as a replacement for previously separate Army, Navy and Air Force days. The holiday was first celebrated May 20, 1950 as a way for those in the armed forces to educate civilians on the different jobs of the military, as well as to offer civilians the opportunity to honor and acknowledge the service of American men and women in the military.
In the event of rain, the show will be moved to Sunday, May 21 at the airport, located behind the Ellenville Shoprite. For more information, visit www.wingsnwheelsforwarriors.com.