Last year about this time, local businessman Gary Knight was watching a classic car auction show on cable TV.
“Being in the car business, plus being a ‘car guy,’ I always enjoy watching these shows when I can,” Knight said. “This particular program had some real nice vintage trucks that were up for auction.”
That is when Knight, president of Carmack Car Capitol, developed his idea for a way to raise funds for the area’s homeless veterans.
Knight contacted Susan Gutterridge, president of the Midwest Veterans Association, about his idea of restoring a vintage truck with community volunteers and then raffle it off with the money raised to go to help homeless veterans in our area.
“I knew about Susan and her group through their Thunder Ride that they have held for the past several years and have been able to help as one of the sponsors for the ride,” Knight said. “I envisioned this project would be a community project that everyone could become involved in.
“While I never served,” Knight said. “I feel this is an opportunity to help out those that did. Our aim is for the money to be used to help house and feed those veterans that need help. The money could be used for food, as deposit on an apartment or to help pay back rent to prevent a veteran from losing their home.”
“Our group (Midwest Veterans Association) was organized with the intent to help or prevent veterans from becoming homeless,” Gutterridge said.
“On any given day, there are some 58,000 veterans that are homeless across the country. These are people who have served their country and shouldn’t have to worry about a place to sleep at night.”
Gutterridge took Knight’s proposal to the group’s board of directors and received its enthusiastic approval for the project.