Log In

Reset Password

Wheels of Freedom show benefits veterans

On Saturday, the Pennsylvania Outdoor Veterans organization hosted the Wheels of Freedom Car, Bike, & Truck Show as well as a craft and vendor fair at the Palmerton Borough Park while encouraging social distancing protocols. The event raised over $8,000, which will go toward various veteran and family programs.

Many people participated in the car, bike and truck show, filling up parts of Third Street, Lafayette Avenue and Fourth Street surrounding the Palmerton Borough Park. Cars of all makes, models and years were present at the event, including vehicles manufactured in the 1910s leading all the way up to the 2000s.

Custom trophies were even awarded to some of the participants such as “Best of Show,” “Best Interior,” and “Best Wheels & Rims.”

Attendee Lenny Ahner shared his past experience with fixing up his 1966 Dodge Corvette.

“I’ve had it 24 years. When I bought it, it needed a lot of work. I worked on it from the ground up and I had to put in a whole new drivetrain and give it a new paint job. I enjoy it though. We like to go out on the weekends and drive it.”

Along with the car, bike and truck show, the park hosted over 40 vendors selling a variety of homemade crafts, food and other miscellaneous items. There was also a Chinese auction held in the park’s gazebo as well as raffles and a 50/50 drawing. Live music featured at the event included The Dana Gaynor Band, Beverly Conklin and Company, and Craig Thatcher and Steve Brosky & John Canova Duo.

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Veterans Inc. is a volunteer, nonprofit organization originally founded by combat veteran Ryan Bowman in 2015. Their mission is to implement outdoor recreational activities (camping, hunting, fishing, etc.) into the healing process of traumatized veterans and reduce the number of veteran suicides. By reconnecting with nature and being a part of a reliable community, the organization provides a great deal of hope for veterans as well as their families.

Those interested in donating or learning more about the Pennsylvania Outdoor Veterans can visit their official website at paoutdoorveterans.org for more information.

Grant Ackerman poses with puppet Damien in front of his spooky 2005 Hummer H2. LINDSEY BOWMAN/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS