Disabled veterans get new donated car for doctors’ appointments, church, and grocery shopping
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Revving engines sound tracked the rainy Sunday return of the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College car show after taking two years off due to the pandemic.
“Growing up I never really played with Barbies,” a second-year automotive student at NWTC Brandi Babik remembered. “I always collected Hot Wheels and the matchbox cars and all that kind of stuff. It always interested me and I liked taking things apart and putting them back together. So, I was like this is the perfect field.”
The perfect field to hone her mechanical skills to help others. A 2012 Dodge Caravan took about six months for NWTC Auto Club students to conceptualize and fix in order to donate it to Disabled American Veterans Chapter 3 on Sunday, May 1.
The Disabled American Veterans have a chapter in the Brown County and Door County area of about 900 members, and they use their volunteer drivers to go to doctors appointments, church, or just to go grocery shopping.
“I’m still here and I’m still doing well,” volunteer Disabled American Veterans driver Dick Marbes emphasized when asked whether or not he can still drive well with only one leg. Dick was injured while serving in the air force in the 1950s in Germany and lost his leg due to bone cancer sustained from the injury. He is one of about seven volunteer drivers who will now use the new donated car to take other disabled veterans around.
“They last a long time,” Marbes said. “They’ve done all the maintenance on this one and as I understand it’s been a part of their school program here.”
At least 2,000 other auto enthusiasts braved the rainy weather to be back together after a two-year hiatus.
“It’s great. I just feel like the world is waking up again after two years in the pandemic,” NWTC president Jeff Rafn highlighted. “To be able to have this show, you know it’s always been a highlight here at the college.”
It’s also a highlight for automotive students interested in old cars.
“There are different learning curves that come with each car obviously,” Noah Heidl, a second-year automotive student at NWTC, shared. “We get our hands on a little bit of everything. Especially as you get to learn from other people you get to pick up and learn different tricks of the trade with different stuff. So, it’s a different learning curve but it’s fun.”
If you’re a disabled veteran and need a ride in the new seven seat van fixed by some of these NWTC students, you can call: 920-338-8620 anytime Monday through Friday during normal business hours.
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