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

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

Representatives of the Salvation Army in Central Ohio came to Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) in New Albany on July 21 to pick up their refurbished 1995 canteen vehicle.

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

But the canteen had seen better days.

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

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

When the vehicle 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.

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 others in need.

"(The canteen is) also available for emergency disasters that happen locally or outside our area," Wood 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 when 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.

CVG donated the parts and labor to repair and upgrade the vehicle, 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.

"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.

CVG plans to feature the canteen at its annual car show Oct. 18 on the CVG campus at 7800 Walton Parkway in New Albany.

Also on July 21, Lowell Marx of Pataskala submitted his $350 veteran's bonus check to the Salvation Army.

The Vietnam War and Gulf War veteran said he did not need the bonus check he received this year from the state of Ohio, so he decided to give it to the Salvation Army.

Marx told the Salvation Army 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 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.