Veterans group raffles restored 1954 pickup truck

Veterans group raffles restored 1954 pickup truck

DANVILLE — Hundreds of motorcycles are set to ride in to the Vermilion Regional Airport on Saturday to raise awareness about and money for homeless veterans.

And one lucky person will ride away in a fully-restored vintage truck.

The Midwest Veterans Association has been selling raffle tickets for a chance to win the 1954 Chevrolet 3100, five-window truck, which was restored by numerous community volunteers, including local veterans, over the past year.

Officials will announce the winner of the Homeward Bound Patriot Truck at 7 p.m. during an event called "Operation: Appreciation Mission: Home" at the airport, 22633 N. Bowman Ave., Danville. This year's event includes an evening performance by country music artist Aaron Tippin with special guest Angie Johnson, featured in Season Two of NBC's "The Voice."

"We welcome everyone to come out," said Susan Gutterridge, founder of the association, which has raised more than $35,000 in cash and in-kind donation to help area vets get off the street and into permanent housing. "Whether you come for the motorcycle ride, come out to the concert or just to have a drink in the beer tent, you will be helping to change a veteran's life."

Tickets are $50 apiece. The day-long event will kick off with the 4th annual Thunder Ride motorcycle ride that will start and finish at the airport. All vehicles are welcome. The ride begins at 11 a.m.

Free festivities will be held from noon to 7 p.m. They include a car show hosted by the Illiana Antique Auto Club and The Junk Yard Dogs, craft and food vendors, information displays by non-profit military assistance groups and a beer tent featuring the regional bands Music in the Heartland, James Jones Trio and Electroplated.

The Aaron Tippin concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. A local band, The Cruse Brothers, will open the concert with several songs, including one members have written and dedicated to veterans.

Tickets are $20 apiece, and you must be 21 to enter.

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