24 April 2008

Schools Jump Onboard To Help Honor Flight

Honor Flight Fayette has taken off with students throughout the Fayette County School System.
A call went out to schools in March asking them to help the nonprofit organization in its efforts to send local World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorial. Honor Flight pays all the costs of transportation, including meals. It costs approximately $400 per person for the one-day excursion.

Schools were asked to consider sponsoring fundraisers to help cover the costs of sending a veteran to the WWII memorial. Teachers and students immediately jumped onboard and have raised over $6,000 countywide in just two weeks – enough to send 15 veterans to the memorial. The donations are expected to increase over the next several weeks as schools continue to fundraise for the trip that will take place on May 14.

Whitewater Middle School has raised the most funds to date with $3,200 that it generated through bake sales and individual donations. The school’s original goal was to raise enough money over a two-week period to sponsor one veteran.

“We will now be able to send eight WWII veterans to see their memorial. It is an honor to have the opportunity to give back to those who gave so much for us,” says seventh grade social studies teacher Laura Kennedy.

Starr’s Mill High asked the entire school, including teachers and staff members, to donate $4 to the program in the hopes of raising the $400 needed to sponsor one veteran. They ended up with $2,000, enough for five veterans.

“The response was outstanding as many faculty, staff and students donated way more than $400,” says social studies teacher Michael Raymer.

The eighth grade social studies students and teachers at Rising Starr Middle collected donations during their lunch periods totaling over $500. In addition, the student clubs at Sara Harp Minter Elementary pooled their resources for a combined fundraiser where each club member was asked to donate $1 to the cause. The clubs raised $435. Combined, the two schools raised enough funds to sponsor two more veterans.

Other schools across the county are planning additional fundraisers after spring break. Braelinn Elementary will sponsor a veteran by having teachers support a CRCT jeans week where teachers will be able to wear jeans the week of CRCT testing by paying a minimal cost to benefit Honor Flight.

The Air Force Junior ROTC classes at Sandy Creek High are also planning a fundraiser and will provide a color guard to honor the veterans as they depart from Fayetteville on May 14.
The nation loses approximately 1,200 WWII veterans each day. Many of them are in poor health, making it critical that they see their memorial as soon as possible. The community is invited to help with their local school’s fundraiser by contacting the school in their area to learn more about fundraising efforts. More information about Honor Flight Fayette can be found at www.honorflightfayette.com.
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