Kandie Vaughn helps raffle motorcycle for veterans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Kandie Vaughn helps raffle motorcycle for local service members


A shiny, new ride is on display at Rydell Chevrolet in Waterloo, but it's not the usual car or truck customers typically stop in to see.

"It gets a lot of attention and it gets some head turns," said Rydell Chevrolet General Manager Matt Halbur.

The Fallen Soldier Tribute Bike is set to be raffled off as a fundraiser for Kandie's Kidz.

"The money that's raised through this motorcycle will all go to our military families and wounded soliders and veterans in Iowa," said Kandie Vaughn.

Kandie Vaughn started Kandie's Kidz after the death of her stepson, Travis Vaughn, in 2007. Vaughn was killed when the helicopter he was riding in crashed in Afghanistan.

Brad Vaughn, Kandie's husband, manages the body shop at Rydell, which is one reason they chose that location for the bike.

"But we decided we didn't want to sit around and be really sad. So we decided we would do something for our veterans," said Kandie Vaughn.

Kandie said the tribute bike just fell in her lap. While on a family vacation, she met a woman whose husband builds custom motorcycles.

"Two days after we got home I got an email from her saying my husband's building a fallen soldier bike, would you be interested, and I'm like oh my gosh, yes I'd be interested!" said Vaughn.

Steve Koontz of Illinois built the bike. The price tag is $18,000. So any money raised beyond that goes directly to Kandie's Kidz, which provides financial assistance to veterans and those currently serving. Everything from gas money to visit a wounded warrior, plowing snow, unclogging a drain or making improvements to a home.

Kandie teamed up with the VFW Hall in Cedar Falls to sponsor the raffle. Kandie has previously worked closely with the VFW Hall.

"We do an adopt a unit program with those deployed in the area and when they come back we have a steak supper, and Kandie's been real good about getting door prizes for us. Doing all kinds of stuff to help," said Larry Walters with the VFW.

Raffle tickets to win the bike are $20. You can get them online by clicking here or by stopping at Rydell Chevrolet in Waterloo. Even though the drawing isn't until July 20th, Kandie Vaughn hopes people start buying now.

"We all know the Cedar Valley Supports our troops, and I just want to say thank you," said Vaughn.

And thanks to Kandie Vaughn for all she does.

Besides the tribute bike, Kandie Vaughn was also instrumental in finding people to help make the home of Ian Ralston of Waterloo handicap accessible.

She's also coming up on the fifth anniversary of "Shower of Gifts." It's donation drive she started around the one year anniversary of Travis Vaughn's death. She collects items and then delivers them to the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.

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