Benefit for Flag City Honor Flight Nov. 1, 2019
When Flag City Honor Flight takes veterans to Washington D.C., it's free of charge, but that money has to come from somewhere. Organizers say it's all donated.
"We are all donations. 99% of the money we take in goes directly to the flight and the veterans," explains Deb Wickerham, Executive Director of Flag City Honor Flight. The organization provides trips for veterans of WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War so those who served our country can tour the memorials constructed in their honor.
Veterans from Northwest Ohio, Southeast Michigan and Northeast Indiana are all invited to apply for a spot. Flag City Honor Flight transports veterans on a chartered flight that leaves the Grand Aire hangar at Toledo Express Airport twice a year.
In September, 2019, 77 veterans and their Honor Guardians made the trip.
"There's about a 4-year wait for our Vietnam veterans, but World War Two has priority. Korea is next. Sometimes they have a year wait, but we take them in the order that they come," adds Wickerham.
Funding for the latest trips, in part, came from a single fundraiser held in the Fall of 2017. It was a benefit evening at the Marathon Center for Performing Arts in Findlay, organized and hosted by Gilmore Jasion Mahler LTD, the largest accounting firm in Northwest Ohio.
"Overall, our veterans don't always get appreciated or we don't show them as much appreciation as we should, and I think Honor Flight does a wonderful job of showing the veterans how much we appreciate what they did," says Kevin Gilmore.
Three years ago, the event raised $42,000. Last time, it pulled in $124,00, which was enough to start adding a second flight each year.
You can help keep Flag City Honor Flight soaring by attending Wanderlust 2019: A Night in Casablanca, Nov. 1, 2019 from 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM at the Marathon Center For Performing Arts. Tickets are $70 and include food, entertainment, raffles and a live auction.