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Dick Van Dyke visits Illinois hometown, starting foundation

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Dick Van Dyke (NDN Inform)

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ Dick Van Dyke made a grand entrance to his eastern Illinois hometown riding in a replica of the car from his 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” as local students sang.

The 90-year-old TV and movie star is in Danville this week as efforts begin to restore his childhood home and turn it into the Dick Van Dyke Foundation. It will offer help to students pursuing the performing arts.

On Thursday, Van Dyke spent time at Danville High School’s Dick Van Dyke Auditorium with 83 local students. Van Dyke said “God, I’m 17 again” as he walked on stage.

On Friday he’ll watch the students perform a “Welcome Home Concert” in his honor. They’ll sing songs from Van Dyke movies like “Mary Poppins.” Proceeds will benefit Van Dyke’s foundation.