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Car show raises money for VA Medical Center

July 31, 2010|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI
  • Brian Mose of Hagerstown checks out this 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air Saturday during the car and truck show at the Clopper-Michael American Legion Post 10 in Boonsboro to benefit the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO -- A lot of veterans own classic cars, Steve Gigeous said.

So when Clopper-Michael American Legion Post 10 in Boonsboro set out to host a fundraiser, a car show seemed the obvious choice.

While the group considered last summer's inaugural effort to be a success, Saturday's second annual Boonsboro American Legion Car and Truck Show was even more grand.

Gigeous, 45, of Boonsboro, organized the event along with Albert "Al" Resh, 65, of Keedysville.

"The veterans came out with their cars," Gigeous said. "Last year, we had 47 cars. This year, we have 103 cars. We more than doubled."

Resh said last year's event raised about $1,000.

"This year is going to be a lot better," he said.

Proceeds from the first event went to patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center through the Heroes to Hometowns program. This year, Resh said, Post 10 members decided to "keep the money local."

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"We're getting more and more veterans coming to the (Veterans Affairs Medical Center) in Martinsburg (W.Va.)," Resh said. "Younger veterans, from Afghanistan and Iraq. We thought we should help them."

Gigeous said the Post's location on Alternate U.S. 40 contributed to the success of the event.

"A lot of people who were just passing by stopped to view the cars and trucks," he said. "Then, they came in to get something to eat and get out of the heat.

The car and truck show was participant-judged. Each participant paid $10 to register, then chose their top 20 picks.

One standout was a cream-colored 1972 Indy 500 Hurst/Olds pace car owned by Carl Shaffer, 61, of Martinsburg. Perched next to his car was a voluptuous, blond mannequin in go-go boots representing Linda Vaughn, Miss Hurst Golden Shifter.

A 2010 rock crawler registered by Terry Porter also garnered a lot of attention. The green buggylike vehicle featured a maxed-out suspension system designed to motor over harsh terrain.

Soldier Jesse Wittich, 22, of Fort Myer, Va., admired the vehicle.

"Army Humvees get stuck a lot," Wittich said. "If we had this, we'd never get stuck."

Wittich said the rock crawler was "interesting, but not my favorite."

That designation went to a 1954 burnt orange Ford pickup.

"It reminds me of my grandfather," Wittich said. "He got me into Ford pickups a long time ago."

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