COLUMBIA — Driving by corn farms and old houses, Duane Korte smiled and waved to everyone he passed in his 1969 Ford Mustang.
It was "a nice fall day" Sunday for Korte to show his "big toy" as a group of Mustangs, Dodge Chargers, Lincoln Town Cars and Harley-Davidson motorcycles drove along country roads in mid-Missouri.
They were part of the Honor Drive, a fundraising event held for Central Missouri Honor Flight, which flies World War II veterans and terminally ill veterans from mid-Missouri to Washington D.C. Around 54 vehicles were part of the drive, which was far below organizers' expectations.
Sunday's route started from Boonville High School, passed Glasgow, Fayette, New Franklin, Rocheport and ended at the Parkade Plaza in Columbia.
"It is pretty neat to see a line of cars with the same interest," Korte said. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War era and participated in the group's first Honor Drive last year.
"I want to support the veterans," he said. "They've given quite a bit for our country."
Doris Shedd enjoyed her ride with her husband, Mark, on their black and brown Heritage Softail motorcycle. Shedd said it was worth it even though she got sunburned.
"It's a wonderful turnout," she said.
The event raised about $1,500, and 75 people participated. Jim Reese, a member of the Honor Drive's board and president of the Central Missouri Mustang & Ford Club, said in a previous Missourian article that he expected 500 people to take part.
Last year's event raised about $4,400 and 220 people participated.
Dolores Clements spent the drive with her husband in their a 1950 red pickup. She said the most important part of the event was to raise money for the honor flights.
Michael Imhoff was the first volunteer to arrive at Boonville High School and prepare for the start of the Honor Drive. He helped lay out apples, bananas, doughnuts and juice.
"There are a lot of people saying they are patriotic," he said. "But if you don't do anything about it, you have nothing to show for."