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A military veteran is given a car by a local charily based in the Brooklyn neighborhood

RITA A. LEONARD - Car Santa Terry Franz, left, presented the keys for a Buick Riviera to Military Veteran Gregory Prather at Brooklyn Station Taproom on July 23. For the second year in a row, "Brooklyn Station Taproom", at 4774 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, has participated in the "Cars 4 Heroes" program as the venue for the presentation of a vehicle to a Veteran in need. The program was founded in 1996 by Terry Franz, father-in-law of Robyn Franz, who is the owner of the Brooklyn Station Taproom. On July 23, a U.S. Navy Veteran from Gresham was awarded in the Brooklyn neighborhood a free 1993 Buick Riviera, to assist himself and his family in his search for employment.

Vehicles are donated to the organization, and are fixed up into driveable condition by supporting businesses. Veterans in need of free transportation can apply to Cars 4 Heroes for one of the vehicles – and the donor benefits with a tax write-off for the donation.

In his application to Cars 4 Heroes, Gregory Prather described how he had served in the late 1980s and early1990s in Korea, Japan, and the Phillippines – followed by two tours in the Gulf War region. He received an honorable discharge in 1991. He explained in his application that, "A vehicle would drastically improve my life, in helping me get a better job."

He continued, "I have a son that is 14, and I can't be much help for him right now. In 2015 I had a severe injury, and had two major back surgeries, and in between I was paralyzed for more than ten days, and in the ICU. Later I lost work due to Covid, and have been trying to get back on my feet." Just recently, Prather obtained a job at Franz Bakery – to which the car will provide him reliable transportation.

The free car recipient was transported to the Brooklyn Station Taproom on Friday, July 23, by a neighbor, where he was presented the keys to his "new" white Buick Riviera in front of a company of appreciative onlookers.

"Cars 4 Heroes, Inc." is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides free basic transportation to veterans and active duty military, as well as First Responders and their families, who are unable to obtain it on their own. The organization gives away some 300 to 400 vehicles per year to those in need – and started giveaways in Portland last year, at the Brooklyn Station Taproom. For more information about the nonprofit and its work, either phone Tony Franz at 503/592-3298, or go online – www.cars4heroes.org


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