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Foundation restoring car to help kids of killed, wounded vets
By Adam DeRose | Daily Herald Staff

Jim Rubom of Lake in the Hills bolts down a seat as he helps restore a modified 1932 Ford Roadster at Custom Classics Restoration in Island Lake. The car will be auctioned off for a scholarship fund for children of slain and injured war veterans.

 

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Chuck Caswell of The IronMen Foundation discusses the efforts put into restoring a modified 1932 Ford Roadster at Custom Classics Restoration in Island Lake.

 

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

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Published: 5/24/2010 12:04 AM

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A group of suburban car enthusiasts are rebuilding a 1932 Ford Roadster this year to raise money for children of slain and injured soldiers.

The IronMen Foundation hopes to raise about $500,000 by auctioning the car in Scottsdale, Ariz., in January. Their voluntary labor and the car's donated parts are all intended to start a scholarship fund for the children.

"Most of us serve in a men's ministry at our church," IronMen Director Chuck Caswell said. "We had the thought to do this in order for these guys to do something larger than a local church, and get involved in the world and do something good."

The group identified with the extra burden of losing a loved one and the costs of war on the families back home. They decided to help provide children of slain and injured soldiers the opportuinity for a college education.

The car, named the "Metal of Honor," is an all-steel body roadster set up in true hot rod fashion without fenders. It will have heating and air-conditioning, which was also donated to the group.

IronMen volunteers began building the car last October and hope to finish it this month. After its completion, the car will be toured across the country to raise awareness of its sale and the foundation's cause. Caswell said that the cause will give the roadster a uniqueness that will encourage bidders to spend a significant amount money, adding that the car is finely built with high quality parts.

The group plans to hit ten cities on a tour promoting the cause, including its debut in Minneapolis in June. Syracuse, N.Y., Sacramento and Tampa are also among cities the tour will hit.

Officials from the foundation have not decided how the scholarships will be divided after the car is auctioned. Caswell said it depends largely on how much the roadster brings in at auction. He said the scholarship will be need-based.

"I want as many dollars to go into these scholarships as possible," Caswell said, adding they do not have plans to use the funds raised for operational and administrative costs.

The results of the auction and tour and their successes will dictate if the group plans to build another roadster, but some involved with the group hope for another build. Caswell also said IronMen is also considering seeking donations through other avenues, including grants from foundations, the government and other individual donors.

Information about the roadster can be found online at ironmenfoundation.org.