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Antique tractor trek benefits wounded vets

Cookout, live music, car show planned

Published: Friday, May 30, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – He’s a man on a mission, 1 mile at a time, from Manasquan, New Jersey, to Crescent City, California.

Retired farmer C. Ivan Stolzfus is driving a 1948 John Deere Model A tractor across the country, trying to raise awareness – and $1 million – for the Wounded Warrior Project, through his organization, Across America for Wounded Heroes.

He’s cutting right across the Sauk Valley on Saturday, and the Dixon VFW Post 540 and First Baptist Church in Dixon are holding events to help raise money and awareness.

Saturday, sometime between noon and 1 p.m., the Dixon Rural and City fire departments, among others, will meet up with Stolzfus, who’s coming into town from Princeton on state Route 26. They will escort him to the VFW at 1560 Franklin Grove Road, where a family-friendly cookout (burgers, brats and dogs) with live music and a meet-and-greet with our own local heroes, Marine Lance Cpl. Adam Devine and Army Spc. Michael Shoemaker, will be held.

The acoustic folk rock band Catfish Dogs will perform, and there will be a 50/50 raffle and a bean bag tourney, proceeds from which will be donated to Across America, as will half of the tip money made that day in the bar.

Then on Sunday, at First Baptist Church at 111 E. Second St., there will be a service at 10:30 a.m., followed by a car/truck/motorcycle show from 1 to about 4:30 p.m., when everyone will parade down Second, across the Peoria Avenue Bridge, then make their way back to the church. There are at least 30 spots left for the show; call the church at 815-284-6823 to register, or just show up, the Rev. Bunyan Cocar said.

The church will be selling water and popcorn, and Culver’s will be on hand, and again, some of the proceeds will be donated to the cause.

In addition, Stolzfus will have T-shirts, hats and the like for sale.

To learn more

Go to www.helpamericanheroes.com or search for Across America for Wounded Heroes on Facebook to learn more about Ivan Stolzfus' mission to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project, and how you can help.

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