A bit of History:
2015 Article written by Kelly Edmunson Auto Mall Staff:
Retired business owner, Lynn Kirwan, wanted to make a difference by volunteering her time and ‘give back’. She chose the Salvation Army Veterans & Family Center (VFC) as the organization where she volunteers, and as Lynn puts it, “What better place to work than the Salvation Army Veterans & Family Center, helping our homeless veterans”. Lynn is in charge of the Center’s Annual Veterans Cruise In which she started 3 years ago when a potential volunteer mentioned his passion for vintage cars and music. The idea to hold a car show/BBQ fundraiser was born and it has “soared”, to say the least.
As of last year (2014), the Veterans Cruise In, became the largest car show in Oregon that supports local veterans. In the first 3 years, the event raised a total of $67,000 and ALL of the money goes directly to the VFC to assist their residents. A handicapped ramp to the second floor has been completed and a handicapped room is in the process. A children’s fund will be established this year for backpacks, school supplies, etc., for the kids.
This year (2014) our Salute to Veterans Car Show will feature over 250 cars and motorcycles, Military vehicles, and a Swat car and Police & Fire vehicles will be on display. After the Opening Ceremony at 10 a.m., there will be a Color Guard Performance, followed by a Korean War Veterans Honor & Salute. You’ll also enjoy vendors, raffles, a Blue Grass Band and kids activities! FREE spectator admission for the whole family! Lynn says that many of the classic cars are owned by veterans, bringing the fundraising effort full circle!
If you have the chance to meet Lynn, I hope you’ll take a moment to thank her and her group of 40+ volunteers who have built this show from the ground up, and for so generously giving her time to help others. Thank you, Lynn! We Salute You!
2021 – Because of COVID-19, we were unable to host our Annual Salute to Veterans Car & Motorcycle Show….So we put on a Poker Run on August 14, 2021! All cars, trucks and motorcycles were welcome. We began at So-Cal NW Speed Shop – Tualatin. We ended at the Golden Valley Brewery/Restaurant – Beaverton. Beautiful scenery and an end ceremony with live music, food/drink, best/lowest poker hand prizes, and more!
In the beginning the event was a fundraiser solely for the Salvation Army Veterans & Family Center and now we share the funds raised with other veteran charities. Our Car Show is an all-volunteer produced event.
We have grown from 99 cars and 1 motorcycle to over 400 vehicles including a great variety of show cars, motorcycles, military vehicles, helicopters, and city/county vehicles.
The Disabled Veterans Motorcycle Club hosts a Motorcycle Run ending at the event. People of all ages love the rumble as they come in.
Funds are raised through trophy sponsorship, vehicle registrations, silent auction, vendor fees, and donations. Over $269,000 has been raised in our ten years for local veterans and their families in need – for instance, at the SA Veterans Center we built an ADA ramp, children’s play, BBQ area, raised-bed gardens, ADA bathrooms, and funded kids school supplies and nutrition programs and more. We purchased a passanger van for the Veterans Village in Clackamas so that staff can transport residents to appointments and services. An outdoor gazebo meeting place with heat lamps and BBQ was also built on the grounds. We couldn’t do this without your help, thank you!