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Local News

Camp Courageous Raffling Off 1971 VW Bus

As part of a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2022, Camp Courageous in Monticello has been raffling a 1971 VW Bus.

The raffle of the donated VW has not only raised funds for the Camp, it has also raised awareness of the Camp’s mission to serve individuals of all ages with disabilities. As the new year approaches the opportunity to purchase a ticket is quickly coming to an end as ticket sales will end on December 30th with one lucky winner being drawn on December 31st.

Charlie Becker, long-time director of Camp Courageous, obtained the ’71 VW Bus from a friend of his son who lived in San Diego, CA.  They used it every day to commute to and from work. The VW Bus was trailered in San Diego and brought to Iowa. The bus was then stripped to the metal and painted ‘Candy Apple Red’ by Brad Johnson, Custom Auto Rebuilders in Marion, IA.  The top was repainted white. During this time new parts were added as needed.  After Becker finished restoring the ’71 VW Bus, he donated it to Camp Courageous in honor of the Camp’s 50th Anniversary and in appreciation for his 42 years with the Camp. Tom Bagge, owner of Oak Street Manufacturing, finished the interior and Steve Davis of Hopkinton provided signage.

News of Camp Courageous’ raffle of the 1971 VW Bus has gone nation-wide with news stories and social media posts allowing the VW Bus to be seen across the country. In August, FOX Sports was preparing for their broadcast of a MLB game in Dyersville, IA. An Iowa MLB staffer was looking for a VW Bus similar to the one used in the movie Field of Dreams. They eventually connected with Camp Courageous and the VW Bus was part of a promotional video that was nationally televised with FOX Sports personalities David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Bench, and Kevin Burkhardt (  After shooting the promotional video these individuals all signed the glove compartment door of the VW. Camp has made so many new friends through its 50th anniversary and the raffle of the VW Bus.
Pictured is former professional baseball player Johnny Bench signing the glove compartment door of the Camp’s 1971 VW Bus.
Camp Courageous was founded and continues to operate primarily on donations and through fundraisers, such as the 1971 VW Bus raffle. Raffle tickets will continue to be sold until 12:00 PM CST on Friday, December 30, 2022. The raffle drawing will be held on Saturday, December 31, 2022 at 12:00 PM CST at the Camp’s Durgin Pavilion and will be broadcast live on Facebook. Tickets can be purchased until noon on December 30th at (link to camp’s Facebook page and live broadcast will also be available). It is through the generous support of so many that after 50 years Camp Courageous can continue its original mission of serving thousands of individuals of all ages with disabilities each year.

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