Disabled veterans get a new donated car for doctor’s appointments, church and groceries
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The sound of spinning engines followed the return of rainy Sunday from the Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College auto show after taking two years off due to the pandemic.
“Growing up, I never really played with Barbies,” recalls Brandi Babik, a sophomore in automotive at NWTC. “I’ve always collected Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and all that kind of stuff. It’s always interested me and I like to take things apart and put things back together. So I was like it was the perfect pitch.
The perfect area to hone your mechanical skills to help others. A 2012 Dodge Caravan took about six months to NWTC Motor Club students to conceptualize and repair in order to donate it to American Veterans with Disabilities Chapter 3 Sunday May 1.
American Veterans with Disabilities has a chapter in the Brown County and Door County area of about 900 members, and they use their volunteer drivers to get to doctor’s appointments, church, or just to do the grocery store.
“I’m still here and I’m still fine,” said Dick Marbes, volunteer pilot of the American Veterans with Disabilities, when asked if he could still drive well or not with one leg. Dick was injured while serving in the Air Force in 1950s Germany and lost his leg to bone cancer resulting from the injury. He is one of seven volunteer drivers who will now use the new donated car to take other disabled veterans.
“They last a long time,” Marbes said. “They’ve done all the maintenance on this one and, as I understand it, it’s part of their school curriculum here.”
At least 2,000 other car enthusiasts braved the rainy weather to reunite after a two-year hiatus.
“It’s good. I just feel like the world is waking up again after two years of a pandemic,” NWTC President Jeff Rafn pointed out. “To be able to have this show, you know it’s always been a highlight here in college.”
It is also a highlight for automotive students interested in vintage cars.
“There are obviously different learning curves that come with each car,” explained Noah Heidl, a sophomore in automotive at NWTC. “We get our hands on a bit of everything. Especially when you learn from others, you learn and learn different tricks of the trade with different things. So it’s a different learning curve, but it’s fun.
If you are a disabled veteran and need a ride in the new seven-passenger van repaired by some of these NWTC students, you can call 920-338-8620 anytime Monday through Friday during the normal office hours.
Disabled veterans received a new donated car to drive vets to doctor’s appointments, church and groceries.
Copyright 2022 WBAY. All rights reserved.