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1901 Olds replica to drive 4,500 miles for veterans

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A 1901 Olds replica built in the 1960s is going to travel 4,500 miles in 90 days to raise money for wounded veterans and their families.

Raymond F. Pittam, former paratrooper, will leave May 22 from the Sun Dial Bridge, Redding, Calif., heading to Branson, Mo., with fundraising stops at many places in between.

Pittam serving in the 101st Airborne.

Pittam serving in the 101st Airborne.

Pittam discovered the 1901 Oldsmobile replica on Oct. 10, 2012, in the Manton, Calif., forest fires. The car had been hidden by vegetation for numerous years.

Pittam, a volunteer hauling water tanks to burned out areas for water storage, found the car after the burnt brush unveiled it. He told the owner he was Santa Claus during the holidays and would completely restore it.

As a member of the Patriot Guard and a former 101 St. Airborne — the units with the highest number of wounded and fallen warriors — Pittam decided to do a charity drive. Pittam said he is not raising money for just one veterans organization, since several are in need.

“If the people will just donate the price of a cup of coffee and a doughnut, or a check of only $5 — and a million people donated only $5 — just think how much help we can be. Our warriors deserve that respect,” he said.

To support Pittam’s efforts or plan a fundraising stop in your community, contact him at Raymond F Pittam, 1756 Filaree Drive, Redding, CA 96002, or call 530-222-1948.

Parked at the Sun Dial Bridge, his California point of departure.

Parked at the Sun Dial Bridge, his California point of departure.

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