MERRIMACK — Attracting more than 140 show cars and hundreds of attendees, the third annual Salute the Troops car show at the Anheuser-Busch plant in Merrimack Aug. 17 raised more than $8,800 for the Travis Mills Foundation.
Attendees were able to enjoy live music, vendors and raffles, and could vote on their favorite vehicles in many different classes. Custom-made trophies were handed out at the end of the event.
The car show was put on by the Bedford nonprofit JAK Kustoms. Each year, proceeds from the Salute the Troops car show benefit a different charity voted on by JAK members. This year they chose the Travis Mills Foundation as the beneficiary.
Founded by retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, a quadruple amputee due to injuries resulting from an IED while on active duty in Afghanistan, the Travis Mills Foundation helps post 9/11 veterans who have been injured during their service.
According to the website, the foundation sends these veterans and their families to Rome, Maine, for a free retreat, which includes adaptive activities and offers participants the chance to recover, reintegrate and relax.
Prior to the event, JAK Kustoms members were given the opportunity to meet Mills and take a tour of the retreat grounds. Each member left the tour inspired and overwhelmed by his story, strength and clear determination to ensure that veterans and their families are given the opportunity to recover and rehabilitate in an environment suited to their needs.
Through sponsors, vehicle registrations, raffle sales, and donations, the car show raised the $8,800. JAK Kustoms will deliver all the proceeds directly to the foundation during the next retreat open house Sept. 15. JAK Kustoms will continue to accept donations until that date. Information on JAK Kustoms and how to donate can be found at facebook.com/JAKKustoms. More information on the Travis Mills Foundation can be found at travismillsfoundation.org.
JAK Kustoms was founded in 2015 by a group of car enthusiasts who all shared the ambition to give back to the community. Focusing their efforts largely on veterans, JAK Kustoms has attended, contributed to, and held various events benefiting veteran related foundations.Some of the group’s past work includes helping the Manchester VA in running its first and second Rev It Up For Heroes car show; hosting the annual Kustom Kristmas Toys For Tots event at the Merrimack Ten Pin bowling alley; and organizing a local motorcycle/car show at Stark Brewery in Manchester in honor of the seven Jarheads Motorcycle Club victims who were killed in a Randolph crash June 21.