A Pataskala veteran and a New Albany business recently offered their support to an organization with a dedicated purpose of helping others.

A Pataskala veteran and a New Albany business recently offered their support to an organization with a dedicated purpose of helping others.

Lowell Marx of Pataskala said he did not need the $350 veteran's bonus check he received this year from the state of Ohio. He decided to give it to the Salvation Army in Central Ohio.

Marx told the Salvation Army that he hopes his gift will inspire veterans and others to acts of charitable giving.

"I want to encourage other veterans who may not need the money to give it to the Salvation Army or the (American) Red Cross," he said.

Marx was a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Ohio State University, and went on active duty after graduating from Ohio State, according to a press release from the Salvation Army. He remained a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army for 23 years, serving in the Ordnance Corps and retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

The Vietnam War and Gulf War veteran submitted his bonus check to the Salvation Army on July 21.

That was the same day that Salvation Army representatives picked up their refurbished 1995 emergency mobile canteen vehicle from the Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) in New Albany.

"She was wore out when we brought her in here," said Mike Foster, the canteen's facilitator.

The vehicle had only one microwave and a stove. Neither was operational. The awning didn't work, either, and the seats were ripped, Foster said.

When it was returned, the canteen had two working microwaves, a new stove, a repaired generator, a new awning and new seats.

Bill Stimel, CVG's research and development prototype manager, said the vehicle also has a new hot-water tank, a new rear bumper and gas shocks to help keep the hood propped open for easier repairs. The tire rims were painted and cleaned, as well.

The canteen is a mobile disaster vehicle that is used on a weekly basis to keep it functional, said Alice Hohl, community-relations director for the Salvation Army.

Capt. Terry Wood of the Salvation Army Chapel at Worthington Woods said the canteen is used at three Columbus locations every Saturday and Sunday to distribute 250 meals each day. Volunteers run the "Heart to Heart" program, which distributes the meals to homeless people and other people in need.

"(The canteen is) used every weekend and it's also available for emergency disasters that happen locally or outside our area," he said.

As the canteen aged, workers from the Salvation Army knew they needed to make repairs. But Wood said funding was not available.

That's where James Williams, vice president of human resources for CVG, stepped in. Williams is on the Salvation Army board and decided his company could help.

"We've done a lot of things to support them," Williams said.

The project took six weeks and a team of four CVG workers - Ben Uditis, Lee Ball, J.R. Pornsopon and Neale Spencer - to complete. Williams said CVG donated both the parts and the labor.

"It was a lot of fun, actually," Uditis said. "It's fun to give back to the community and this was something completely different (than what we do)."

CVG produces cabs for heavy trucks, construction and agricultural equipment and parts for some automobiles.

The canteen is expected to be featured at CVG's annual car show Oct. 18. It will be held on the CVG campus at 7800 Walton Parkway in New Albany.