By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 17, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) –Cars for a cause. Saturday morning dozens of antique and vintage vehicles showed up at the Tallahassee Moose Lodge to raise money for Tallahassee's Honor Flight.
The Honor Flight has been taking place for the past seven years in Tallahassee, and it allows veterans that served in World War 2, Vietnam and Korea to see the monuments from the wars they served, up close and personal in Washington DC.
It is an amazing opportunity, but it comes at a cost.
That is why fundraisers like the Car Show on Saturday is so important.
Paul Giani went with his father Joseph Giani on this past years Honor Flight. Giani served during World War 2, "My father is still talking about it every single day."
For the father and son duo, Giani says Honor Flight was an experience unlike any other, "It took me five years to convince him to go and he said it was the best thing he had ever done. He said he couldn't believe how the people treated him, how perfect strangers came up to thank him. It was a very moving day for both of us."
But, the opportunity of a lifetime for veterans is a pricey one.
So, that's where the cars come in.
As each car pulls up to the curb, you can hear their engines revving. Veterans and car lovers, walk car to car, checking out the antique and vintage models, "There are so many cars here every shape, and color and style," says Mac Kemp the Chariman of Honor Flight Tallahassee, "and everything and its interesting and a lot of fun people."
The registration fees for the car show, the silent auction, and donations all go towards flying the veterans to Washington DC. Bobby Turner a Korean War Veteran has never been on the flight, but knows the importance, "Anytime money can be raised to help us old guys its good."
"This is all done by donations," shares Giani, "when you think about it and you see something like this think about what you are really doing for these guys."
The result, is sending 80 veterans, 72 guardians and more to see their monuments, "It is a very emotional time for them," shares Kemp, "It brings back memories of friends that have passed away long ago, friends that have died in country during the battle, it's just so many memories for them."
Giani recalls what it was like, "To see the look on their face was just unbelievable, and for strangers to just go up to them and say welcome home, I'm getting emotional just thinking about it."
And with every car that pulls up, Honor Flight is one step closer to fulfilling a lifelong dream for so many.