Car Show Raises Money to Send Veterans to Capitol

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JEFFERSON CITY - As Mary Paulsell and her husband stroll the Jefferson City car dealership parking lot in the early June sunlight, they stop and stare at nearly all 27 cars, old and new. These shiny cars are not for sale, however, but for show. And they're not being shown for personal gain or praise, but rather to put America's war veterans on a plane to our nation's capitol.

These cars belong to members of the Central Missouri Mustang and Ford Club, a philanthropic group often in support of the Honor Flight Network Program. Honor Flight is a charity group dedicated to raising money for veterans to fly to Washington D.C. so they may visit the memorials created in their honor. 

Paulsell is president of the central-Missouri branch of Honor Flight. Daughter of a World War II Army vet, she says as time goes on, it's becoming more urgent to raise money for the men and women who fought in WWII.

"With the large numbers of veterans we're losing everyday, it's really becoming a very timely issue," said Paulsell. "These people are vanishing from our eyes and we'll see the likes of people like them again."

Jim Reese is a member of the Central-Missouri Mustang and Ford Club. His father was on the U.S.S California, a large Navy ship at Pearl Harbor on the day it was attacked. He said it was an easy decision to use his car club to support a cause very close to his heart.

"It made sense to use our fundraising capabilities and interests to send the veterans to Washington D.C. to see their much-deserved memorial."

Reese also said the issue of timeliness is very present in the Honor Flight Program.

"I think there is a sense of urgency. Personally, all of my family vets are gone but they'd all be in their 90's right now. So those that are still alive, if they have a desire to see the memorial, which commemorates their bravery and dedication, then we have a right to make sure that happens. 

According to the Honor Flight website, approximately 900 WWII veterans pass away each day.