PALMDALE — The Vets 4 Veterans 10th Anniversary Classic Car and Motorcycle Show and Poker Run offers a fun-filled day with motorcycles, hot rods and classic cars, food and entertainment for the family, and the opportunity to provide direct support the veterans of the Antelope Valley.
The Car Show, a free event, is from noon until 4 p.m., Sept. 15 at Poncitlan Square in Palmdale.
The Poker Run starts that day at 9 a.m., at Antelope Valley Harley Davidson and ends at Poncitlan Square, in Palmdale, where the car show takes off.
The Vets 4 Veterans Car Show and Poker Run features classic cars and motorcycles of every vintage, with trophies awarded in 60 categories.
The day offers family fun like face painting, live music, and dancing, with raffle prizes, food trucks and vendors, craft vendors and community merchandisers. Music is provided all day by Boys Night Out. The local Young Marines will present the colors and drill and the day will include military displays. The nostalgia glamour group Bombshell Bettys, that offers a vintage tribute to the military will be on hand.
Vets 4 Veterans Antelope Valley is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by Army veteran Tom Hilzendeger and a group of local Vietnam combat veterans who attend a PTSD (post-traumatic stress) therapy group at the Antelope Valley Vet Center.
“This is our 10 anniversary,” Hilzendeger said. “And the car show has offered us ten opportunities to share a great time with our friends and family from the Antelope Valley, and beyond. We love it when people have a good time, and it helps the veterans.”
As they learned to “live better” with their PTSD, and they came to understand that “staying busy doing good” would be the key to their healing, they knew they wanted to provide care and connection for Veterans returning from other wars.
Due to the backlog on benefits claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs, a backlog of nearly two years in some cases, many local Veterans are suffering severe financial stress. Vets 4 Veterans provides for local Veterans with hardship situations.
As funds allow, Vets4Veterans assists with rent, groceries, utilities, funerals, and immediate family needs. This year, Vets 4 Veterans established Operation Restart House as interim housing to help Veterans readjust to life in the community.
Vets 4 Veterans Operation Restart provides scholarships to veterans attending college through the Antelope Valley College Scholarship Foundation. These scholarships are the only Foundation scholarships designated specifically for Veterans. Vets 4 Veterans also provides PTSD therapy with a licensed marriage and family therapist and an Art as Healing group. All are open to veterans, family members and active duty personnel.
All Vets 4 Veterans events are fundraisers for these programs. They are all family friendly events and all donations stay 100% local.
The car show is free to the public and there is a $25 entry fee for cars and bikes entering the car show, which also includes entry into the poker run.