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Classic rides on display today at Lakewood Baptist Church
Show to raise money for Vietnam vets scholarship fund
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Vietnam Veterans of America car and motorcycle show

What: Fundraiser for scholarships given by local chapter 772

When: Today, with registration 8 a.m. to noon and awards at 3 p.m.

Where: Lakewood Baptist Church, 2235 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville

How much: $20 entry fee, free for spectators

More than 200 cars spanning 100 years will be on display today, helping to raise money for scholarships awarded by the Vietnam Veterans of America.

The sixth annual car show at Lakewood Baptist Church, sponsored by the local veterans chapter 772, also is expected to draw a few cars with a famous past, and this year it is open to motorcycles, too, according to Ron Kellner, a director with the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter.

“This is the first time we’ve done a motorcycle show in conjunction with the car show,” Kellner said. “There seemed to be a lot of interest. ... We’re expecting a lot of people.”

The show also will feature the “Bonnie and Clyde” car used in the movie — still riddled with bullet holes — and a sheriff’s deputy car similar to what Barney Fife drove on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

The “Bonnie and Clyde” car, he said, isn’t the tan color it was in the 1967 movie starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. More recently it has been painted silver primer to keep it from being riddled with rust.

“But it’s the car, and it has the holes in it and it’s kinda neat,” Kellner said.

Admission for spectators is free, and there will be concessions such as popcorn and snow cones available for purchase. All the money raised will go to the Vietnam Veterans of America’s scholarship fund, which plans to award three $1,000 scholarships this year.

Overall, the organization has given out $31,000 in scholarships to family members of Vietnam veterans, Kellner said.

The organization also provides support for recent war veterans and helps run Operation Patriots Call, a support network for soldiers’ families before, during and after deployments. Operation Patriots Call has been instrumental in helping members of Gainesville’s National Guard unit Charlie Company, many of whom recently returned from Afghanistan.

Kellner said Vietnam Veterans of America and Operation Patriots Call are planning a welcome-home party for the soldiers and their families June 26. The event was previously scheduled for June 5.

The veterans group also provides a color guard at area high schools and has installed several monuments at area parks.

The car and motorcycle show today, he added, is another way the organization continues its outreach.

“The show is free but we’re going to have auctions and raffle items, and we’re going to have food there,” he added. “We’re also including a new car rally, and we have seven of the major car dealerships that will each bring out up to five cars so people will be able to see the old cars and the new cars and everything in between.”

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