CHARLOTTESVILLE — Students and staffers at Eastern Hancock High School are banding together this weekend to give back to military veterans who have given it all.
The school’s student council is hosting a car show to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps injured veterans. The fundraiser will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the high school parking lot.
Leading the charge is Ethan Hayse, who said his family’s military history and his own interest in the armed forces led him to plan the event. Hayse is a junior and president of the school’s student council.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a charity dedicated to serving those men and women in uniform injured in combat since Sept. 11, 2001. The project has registered 33,000 members since its inception in 2003, according to woundedwarriorproject.org. It offers those members programs covering topics including combat stress recovery, education, transition training and more.
Hayse is a registered student ambassador with the Wounded Warrior Project, meaning he’s charged with bringing attention to and raising money for the organization. He hopes the event will have a philanthropic and educational impression on his classmates.
“I wanted to do something that would have a big impact,” he said. “I’ve seen what Wounded Warrior does, and I think people don’t understand the impact it has.”
Cars and trucks of all shapes and sizes are invited to participate in the show. Registration is $10 per vehicle. General admission to the car show is $2.
A car wash will be conducted for donations, and a food stand will sell pulled pork sandwiches, beans, coleslaw and drinks.
Fundraisers hosted by Wounded Warrior Project student ambassadors have the full backing and support from the national organization, said Rick Curtis, a spokesman for the charity. Young people of all ages who register receive free access to a host of Wounded Warrior resources and information.
More importantly, the students who become ambassadors work to form connections between their communities and the organization, Curtis said.
“They are doing something very difficult by connecting the students with the soldiers,” he said. “They are bridging that gap.”
Those sorts of interactions between the community and the school are always encouraged at Eastern Hancock, high school Principal Dave Pfaff said. The student council is one of the largest groups at the school, and the teens who participate do tremendous work inside the school and out, he said.
When Hayse approached the administration about holding the event, staff members were more than happy to help out, Pfaff said.
“Students are naturally drawn to wanting to help and give back to the community,” he said. “We think that’s an important part of becoming a well-rounded adult.”
Hosting a car show to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project combines Hayse’s interests in automobiles and military service, he said.
Most of the proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, although the student council will keep a fraction of the funds to help cover its organizational costs, Hayse said.
Eastern Hancock High School is at 10320 E. County Road 250N, Charlottesville. For more information, call 317-326-2267.
What: Benefit car show
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Eastern Hancock High School, 10320 E. County Road 250N, Charlottesville
How much: $10 per vehicle to display at the show. General admission is $2.
Why: Benefits Wounded Warrior Project