When Veterans Carriers told me they wanted to partner with Veterans Council of Chatham County for their Third Annual “Trucking for a Cause Car Show” at Red Door Auctions on September 24, I may have yelled, clapped and jumped for joy!
With the goal of splitting the proceeds from entrance fees, raffle items and a live auction to benefit the Veteran Carriers’ beloved Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) and Veterans Council Parade Fund, I am on the lookout for Veteran Carriers Cliff White and Rob Cooch and Veteran Council’s Joe Higgins when I arrive at the auction grounds.
Good grief! I’m not sure how I am going to find them because every type of vehicle from a Z28 and a ‘65 Chevy Nova to a ‘76 Ford Bronco to a ‘72 crypton green El Camino is trying to park. Waving me over to snap a pic of an immaculately restored El Camino is Red Door Auction partner Chuck Snelling.
My usually chill friend is amped up to tell me “Bunny! I am auctioning off this 500+ horsepower big block El Camino to raise funds for Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center.” I then ask the car enthusiast, “Wait, Isn’t this your baby? How are you able to let her go?! This thing has to be worth $40K.” With a nonchalant shrug he agrees and adds, “It’s worth it to help those deserving kids have horses to ride, and you have a 1 in 650 chance to win this beauty so buy a ticket right now!”
Setting up next to him are Veteran Carriers’ Allie Perry, Ansley Horn, Taylor Amory and Christina Lee. With Allie and Ansley in dispatch and Taylor and Christina as planning managers, I really thought I could get a fast photo of the young ladies. A mini photo shoot later, I got my best pic of the day before scurrying over to snap a pic of Jayden White with–what looks like the love of his life–a little four-legged lady named Judy (his dog)!
Next up is “Provisions for Patriots’” Al Kennedy. A fan of the New Yorker with a really big voice, I pose him with his “heart’s desire” Sherry Burnside before seeing Joe Higgins arriving with four massive cakes. With him is cake creator Michelle Holton, a fabulous female who has donated two strawberry cakes along with a pound cake and chocolate cake.
Proud to see that Michelle is going to allow one photo, I pose her with Joe and event hostess Mary Ann Worsham. While telling Mary Ann how much I love her restored camper, I get a chance to chat with Joe about today’s car show. “Knowing that fellow veterans are working to make a difference in our local veterans says everything about Cliff and Rob,” shares the Veterans Council Chairman.
Well finally! Petite powerhouse Tabitha Guy has stopped long enough for me to get an update on today’s car show. “We have dozens of cars, trucks and Jeeps, a bouncy house, face painting, KONA Ice, a live deejay and free food from the DIVE Savannah provided by Yancey Bros. CAT,” shares the recruiter/event coordinator as she unloads the coolest awards I have ever seen. Bronze in color and shaped as half of a late model car, these awards from Peachy Tees in Springfield should have their own award for the best design!
Jumping onto a golf cart with Tabitha and Joe, we cruise past Corvettes and Jeeps then round the corner to find the best corporate recruiter east of the Mississippi holding court with her Yancey Bros. CAT team. Hey Kym Hogan! The 5’11” heavy equipment queen is so excited to finally introduce me to her boss Kwana Jackson (aka “KJ”), she insists on a group photo of KJ surrounded by her Yancey Bros. CAT team.
As Kym and I walk with the director of talent acquisitions over to meet the fine folks from the DIVE Savannah, my heart gets bigger when I hear Kym tell caterers Emily and Susannah Crill, “We jumped at the chance to provide food for these two veteran groups and become more involved with people that have served our country. Working with y’all to feed these men and women is an honor. Thank you!”
After Cliff and Rob meet KJ, we head over to the auction table to bid on a ceramic coating detail, an Ozark Cooler, a “Branded Starr” travel bag all the way from Forsyth, Georgia, and a diamond anniversary band from Caleb and his Harkleroad Jewelry family. I didn’t win anything but Tabitha may have ended with a sparkly ring!
As cars pull away and the dust settles, Tabitha updates me on the total raised, a whopping $22,368! With plans for Veteran Carriers to give their portion to the families of fallen TACPs’ service members to help with college tuition, vehicles and family needs, I smile big when I hear Joe praising the Veteran Carriers team for raising so much money for his beloved November 11 Veterans Day Parade!