Like summer, the wars overseas are drawing to a close. Our wounded warriors are finding themselves deprived of the basic right to healthcare even after putting their lives on the line for the freedom we all enjoy. Not to worry brave sons and daughters, the nationwide chapters of the GTO Club Association of America has your back.
With America’s troops in mind, the Original GTO Club of Milwaukee hosted their 33rd All Pontiac Car Show at Quaker Steak and Lube in New Berlin. As part of a nationwide effort to support the veterans, the club is attempting to raise enough money for the Independence Fund to buy a needy veteran a track chair. Fitting of a soldier of any era, the chair features a camouflage color scheme and all-terrain treads normally seen on battle tank.
During an exhibition by club president, Bob Ricco, the wheelchair was shown to be fully motorized and able not only climb up curbs but to stand upright as well making some wonder if this machine was borrowed from the latest Transformers movie. As amazing as the machine is, it comes at a steep price of $16,000. Fortunately, GTO clubs across the nation are doing their part to land a veteran in one of these chairs.
“We’re raising money for the Independence Fund,” said Ricco regarding the charity that accepts donations to buy lucky veterans their very own track chair. “This year the GTO clubs throughout the United States raised 14,000 dollars.”
$14,000 in eight months is an amazing feat, especially considering the hot rod season still has a good month and a half to go. Ricco was confident that their show would be the tipping point for the fund, and with over 120 cars participating in the show for a small entry fee, Ricco just may be right.
And even if admission alone didn’t drum up enough funds for their goal, a silent auction featuring an array of items donated by local businesses and residents helped to fortify their charitable income.
Of course, there are fees involved in throwing a hot rod party for the public. Bands draw in a lot of fans and revenue, but they cost money. And what is a party without beer and food? Luckily for the GTO Club, the band that performed at the show did so for a surprisingly cheap rate in the spirit of the cause.
The venue was more than happy to allow the show on their property to reap the benefits of the food and bar patrons for a charity of their own, allowing the club to focus more on raising money and having a good time than deducting large chunks of their income for essential entertainment.
By the end of the show, the club deemed their efforts a success. Car lovers and rockabilly fans from all around Southeastern Wisconsin descended upon the show. Members of the Drifters Classic Car Club, Cambusters Car Club, Troubleshooters Car Club and others were sighted hanging out and having a good time in support of their brother club and America’s men and women in uniform.