Cars, Bikes & An Auction Rally for Vets

By Molly Barari

Since South Dakota does not have an official veteran’s rally, the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club (MC) and VanDerBrink Auctions decided it was time to start one.

The first-annual event’s theme is A Salute to America’s Veterans. The rally will feature a car show, bike show, classic car auction hosted by VanDerBrink Auctions, military and war memorabilia displays, food vendors, and live music. The event will take place at W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls from July 21-22. The $10 admission ticket will be used to help local veteran’s programs. Plus, camping is available Friday and Saturday evenings.

Todd Peterson – a member of Leathernecks MC who is organizing the event – said, “The Leathernecks MC is a group of retired Marine Corps vets and Navy medics who served in the Marine Corps. But we wanted a chance to honor and say thank you to all the men and women who’ve served our country. We also want everyone to come out and have a great time – and who doesn’t like cars and bikes? This will be a fun way to bring everyone together.”

Peterson said there are many highlights at this year’s event, including live classic music all day Saturday, culminating with a performance of ZZ-3 – a ZZ Top tribute band – on Saturday evening. The VA mobile van will also be on site to provide veteran support, including blood pressure screens (which, let’s face it, might be necessary after ZZ-3).

“We’re trying to build this into the biggest, baddest car and bike show around. We hope to have 500 to 1,000 cars in this year’s car show,” said Peterson. “Another highlight will be the classic car auction. If you haven’t been to a classic car auction, it’s lots of fun. If you want to buy a car, you can buy it on site!”

Yvette VanDerBrink, owner of VanDerBrink Auctions based in Hardwick, MN, initially got the ball rolling for the event. VanDerBrink Auctions has been auctioning classic cars, bikes and antique tractors for over 16 years. “I actually was looking at and had reserved the Fairgrounds to work on an event, but wasn’t ready and wanted to have it work with a charity,” VanDerBrink said. “The Leathernecks wanted to work on something too, and we had a meeting to collaborate and cross-promote the event.”

VanDerBrink said she’s currently seeking consignments of cars and bikes for the auction. There is a $125 entry fee to consign, with a portion of the entry fee going toward veteran’s groups. VanDerBrink is looking for about 100-150 vehicles. Collections are welcome.

“I have many friends, and now my kids’ friends, that are in the service or veterans. It’s crucial that we treat those people with respect and honor and help them, because they served us,” said VanDerBrink. “It’s a selfless act of valor.”

Leathernecks MC is a nationwide nonprofit organization that prides itself on helping not only the veterans that served our country, but also children.

“We give to just about every veteran organization out there, including the American Legion, VFW, and VA Hospital,” said Peterson. “We also assist with Project 22, which raises awareness for veterans who come home with PTSD. Twenty-two vets a day commit suicide. We also help veterans on an individual basis – like if someone needs cab fare to get to a hospital, a screen door replaced on his house, a hotel room to stay in, or some basic toiletries. If you’re a vet, we’ll help you out if you need it.”

Around Christmas each year, the Leathernecks MC volunteers to pick up and distribute gifts on behalf of Toys for Tots. Some of the money from this summer’s Car and Bike Show will also go toward Toys for Tots.

For more information about the event, contact Peterson at 605-941-1526 or VanDerBrink at 507-673-2517.

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