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Retsil vets take a ride on the wild side

Retsil vet Joe Adamez waves to the crowd as he cruises by in a red Ferrari. The seventh Annual NWRFCA Retsil Veterans’ Drive was held on Armed Forces Day last Saturday. Vets got the opportunity to take rides in some “hot” cars.  - Courtesy photo
Retsil vet Joe Adamez waves to the crowd as he cruises by in a red Ferrari. The seventh Annual NWRFCA Retsil Veterans’ Drive was held on Armed Forces Day last Saturday. Vets got the opportunity to take rides in some “hot” cars.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Feeling the need for a little speed? There is nothing that says speed like a Ferrari or an Alfa Romeo 8C, or maybe even a Porsche 997 turbo, and the Retsil Vets had a ball finding out.

The seventh Annual Northwest Region Ferrari Club of America (NWRFCA) Retsil Veterans’ Drive was held last Saturday to give Washington State Veteran’s the opportunity to ride in some pretty exotic cars.

Michael and Christine Von Ditter, organizers of this yearly event, are very passionate about doing this, since both are Navy veterans.

“This year, for the first time, we made flyers to hand out to all of the downtown merchants, and everyone was so gracious and excited about our event,” said Christine Von Ditter. “The VFW in Port Orchard put out the big flags along Bay Street, many merchants including Rings & Things had flags out. The Candy Shop even donated a huge bag of saltwater taffy with American flags on it.

“We had nine guests from (the Washington State Veterans Home at) Retsil who joined us for a special brunch at the Lighthouse,” she said, “where Josh Wood and his staff prepared a beautiful spread and even made some last-minute seating adjustments for a couple of the guys that couldn’t easily navigate the stairs into the dining area.”

“There was a lot of honking and waving down Bay Street as the VFW guys were standing outside waiting for our mini-parade,” said Von Ditter. “The residents got a chance look at the cars ahead of time and then choose which one they wanted to ride in first.”

Three of the veterans participating in the event were from World War II and the Korean War.

“Dave Nichols, owner of Wileys Collision repair, also pitched in to drive one of the cars for the vets to ride in,” Von Ditter added. “He and his brother also donated the meat and barbecued at our after-event party. We can’t wait to start organizing this for next year and try to make it more of a community event.”

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