Hot rods to raise money for veterans

Published 5:05 pm Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sports car lovers may think they’ve died and gone to heaven when Oct. 12 rolls around.

That day, Veterans Park in Hoover will host the Vettes for Vets event, where at least 120 Chevrolet Corvettes will be available for the public to see.

Attendees will also judge the car show, as voting ballots will be given out. The event is from noon-5 p.m., and attendance is $10 per carload.

The event will benefit Alabama Gold Star Families, a nonprofit organization that supports military families that have lost loved ones in combat. The organization was started in 2007 and originated in Jefferson County.

“We support families, support each other and share our losses,” said Marynell Winslow, president of Alabama Gold Star Families.

Winslow said the Vettes for Vets event would also help raise funds to develop memorials for fallen soldiers around the state. Right now, Alabama Gold Star Families is focused on helping to expand the National Cemetery in Montevallo.

There will eventually be a walkway from the National Cemetery to the American Village with monuments along the way to honor the fallen, and Alabama Gold Star Families is raising money for those monuments.

“We really hope to be able to fund one of those monuments,” Winslow said.

Event organizers are hoping for a clear, sunny day and about 2,000 attendees, she said.

“People wait to see what the weather is going to be like because they don’t want to get the nice cars out in the weather,” she said.

Full Moon Bar-B-Que will provide food for sale. If the cars aren’t enough to keep people’s attention, there will be music throughout the entire festival, featuring renowned saxophonist Vann Burchfield as well as other acts. There will also be hourly raffles.

Winslow said Hoover is the perfect setting for such an event.

“I live in Hoover and Veterans Park in Hoover seemed like such a great place to have this,” she said. “The city of Hoover has been so good to us as a family. We want the public to come out and support this.”