Shop hosts 'Veteran's Day in July' to benefit military aid organization

Publish Date: 
Jul 16, 2013

FOREST GROVE, Ore. – With two sons who served in the military in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bill Ballard knows how hard that can be on families. He’s planning an event to support the Returning Veterans Project.

"All these [military members] are coming back," the owner of Iron Horse Garage service and repair shop told The Oregonian, "and I want to do something good for them."

His shop will host "Veteran’s Day in July" this Saturday to raise money for the Portland nonprofit that helps service members, veterans and military families get physical and mental health services. 

The July 20 event will be his second. The first one last year drew about 150 riders and raised $1,200, numbers he hopes to increase this year.

The event starts with a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m., followed by a poker run. Cars, motorcycles and children's bikes will be on display all afternoon, and visitors can play horseshoes and pool and enter raffles and a silent auction. 

"It's kind of a picnic feel," Ballard said of the day, which will include live bluegrass music. 

Janel Thomas, Ballard's daughter and event co-organizer, said they also want to make the community aware of the organization.

"We want to make sure people know who they are and what they do in case they ever need help," she said, "and also to make sure people know what (the Returning Veterans Project) does so they know about it when they're considering donating to a cause." 

Posted  by Holly Wagner