AMVETS hosting military and first responder appreciation day

| September 6, 2019

COSHOCTON – In five short years the DAV van used to transport veterans to medical appointments has racked up 150,000 miles.

The 12 passenger, 2014 van was bought new through a special program offered by the Ford Motor Company. Ford and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) have been working together since Henry Ford organized a cross-country caravan of 50 Model Ts to take disabled veterans to their convention in San Francisco in 1922. The partnership is still going strong more than 90 years later.

“We can get a grant through them again that helps us get a brand new van,” said Dave Dilly, adjutant for the DAV Chapter #74. “Our portion of the cost is $20,000. The DAV buys the van then we donate it to the VA to use. It’s our van but the VA pays for everything down to windshield washer fluid and the air in the tires.”

In order to help raise those funds, the DAV Chapter #74 is working together with AMVETS Post 36 to host the Military & First Responders Appreciation Day and Butch Snedeker Memorial DAV Van Fundraiser. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, in the AMVETS Post 36 parking lot, 986 Otsego Ave. Bring a lawn chair and park at the former armory next door.

The public is invited to come enjoy live entertainment, silent auction items, 50/50 raffle and food and drinks by the AMVETS. Several different organizations will have vehicles on display from around 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there will be a silent auction for a 2006 GMC 4×4 1500 truck with a special paint job honoring veterans. Proceeds from the silent auction will go toward the purchase of a new DAV van.

“The truck belonged to Butch (Snedeker) who was a Vietnam Veteran from Coshocton County who died from Agent Orange problems,” Dilly said. “It was in his will to donate the truck to us.”

Bids for the truck are being taken now through 6 p.m. on Sept. 14.

“It started at $6,000 and is now up to $6,100,” Dilly said. “You don’t have to be there to win.”

Anyone wishing to place a bid on the truck in advance can call: Dick Guess, AMVETS Commander at 740-202-1408; Ed Skerness, DAV Commander at 740-575-1356; or Terrie Brown at 740-502-6444. Brown, whose father is a veteran, also is the contact for anyone wishing to donate an auction item.

“The community has been wonderful to us,” said Brown. “We already have sports memorabilia, gift cards, and all kinds of things.”

Several donations for the new van have already been collected. Anyone who cannot attend the Sept. 14 event can send donations to the Coshocton Federal Credit Union and mark them for the DAV.

“We can’t say enough about all the people who have already donated and helped with this,” Dilly said.

Any extra money raised is put to good use by the DAV. Right now they are putting electric steps on their van that can be transferred over to the new one when it arrives. They also know they need a new van about every four years and try to have funds available to help put toward that cost.

Dilly and Skerness also are both thankful for the opportunity to honor first responders.

“They are the ones on the front lines now and some days they don’t get the recognition they deserve,” Dilly said.

First responders will receive their meal for free during the event.

The DAV Chapter #74 has to have its application for the van turned into Ford by November. Dilly said it takes some time for the approval process, but they should receive their new van in the spring of 2020. Once the VA is done with the former van, decisions will be made about what to do with it.

“You have to plan ahead for it,” Dilly said. “We figure by next March or April we will have close to 200,000 miles on our van. We’ve already had 165 veterans use it this year.”

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Category: Clubs & Organizations

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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