HAYESVILLE - C. Ivan Stoltzfus is on a mission to help injured veterans, one mile at a time.
The retired farmer is making his third cross-country "Across America for Wounded Veterans" trip to raise money for Operation Second Chance.
As always, he's driving the entire distance in a 1948 John Deere Model A tractor retrofitted with a 1984 Peterbilt model 359 cab.
Stolzfus is expected to stop at the Hayesville Fire Station, 8 High St., Hayesville, sometime in the late afternoon Sunday, May 19, between stops in Wooster and Upper Sandusky.
This will be Stolzfus's second stop at that location. He also stopped there in 2014 on his first cross-country trip for the cause.
Once again, a group of patriotic local residents is coordinating to make sure he is met by a supportive crowd. Among the organizers are Jim Fish, Nancy Tallmadge and Ann Schar.
"It's just a community thing that we hope will draw interest," said Tallmadge. "Everybody seemed to really enjoy it the last time we did it, and we only had a day or two notice that time. A lot of people in our community seem interested in helping veterans."
The Hayesville gathering will be fairly informal, Tallmadge said. Attendees will mingle and enjoy music provided by Loudonville's Matt Young while waiting for Stolzfus to arrive. They estimate he will reach Hayesville around 4 p.m.
Though his exact arrival time is unknown, anyone who wishes to be there for his visit can track his progress here, as his tractor and trailer are outfitted with a GPS.
Several local, state and national elected officials are expected to attend or send representatives to read proclamations.
While the event is free, organizers encourage attendees to donate to the cause. Operation Second Chance assists veterans and their families with housing, groceries and other daily necessities. T-shirts and other merchandise will be available for purchase to support Operation Second Chance.
For more information about Operation Second Chance and Across America For Wounded Veterans, visit www.operationsecondchance.org.