The JOG (Jobs for Ohio's Graduates) class at C-TEC of Licking County recently donated $1,500 to Honor Flight Columbus. They raised the funds from the Heavy Metal War.
Tom May is a member of Knights of Columbus Council 1056, as well as a veteran. After participating in an Honor Flight himself, he felt that donating new wheelchairs would be wonderful way to show support and appreciation for senior veterans. “I needed a wheelchair, and I realized how many vets rely on them for each flight,” he said. “I saw this as a worthy cause.”
Mark Fowler, campaign co-chairman with May, said, “Our fund raising efforts started a year ago and included having a float in the Olentangy Township July 4 parade and a concert that evening.” The Council raised $5,500 to purchase the wheelchairs.
Honor Flight Columbus has taken more than 4,100 senior veterans to the nation’s capital, free of charge. It has taken 72 flights to achieve this milestone, with the early trips having 30 veterans and then growing to taking about 84 vets on charter flights. Each veteran who uses a wheelchair has an experienced volunteer guardian who pushes the chair and is with him or her for the full day.
The approximately 2,000 men and women who have needed wheelchairs on these trips traveled on donated wheelchairs. “Travel is hard on wheelchairs,” says Downing. “On the average trip, the chairs are on and off the airplane and buses about 14 to 16 times. Care is taken with the process but wear and tear happens. These 20 new chairs will allow the retirement of our oldest ones.”
As with all Knights of Columbus councils, Council 1056 pursues causes that fulfill the Knights’ pledge of service through charity, both within church circles and in communities at large. “In addition to charity, patriotism is another key principle of the Knights. Helping the Honor Flight Network is actually an honor for us, and answered our oaths to charity and patriotism all in one,” said past Grand Knight David Ayscue. “We encourage all citizens to do what they can to honor and thank our veterans, including supporting Honor Flight’s Columbus hub.”
Wade and Cindy Wetzel, representatives for Woodmen Life, have presented our veterans with a 3' x 5' American Flag after each of our Honor Flight trips.
What a wonderful tribute to our honored veterans.
L-R: Kimm Bush, LE Manager and Marketing Director; Randy Rhinehart, Program Director for the Auto Smarts Radio Show; Joe Machado, Honor Flight Columbus Board Member; Ray Joseph, Shooting Range Manager; Dan “Boots” Longenette, Radio Show Host for Auto Smarts Radio; Todd Vance, President of Vance Outdoors Inc.; Regina Vance, Vance HR Department
Honor Quilts - Ohio presented each of our Purple Heart Vietnam veterans on the October 22 flight with a beautiful handmade patriotic quilt thanking them for their service to our country.
“I think they’re definitely heroes because without their help to our country, we might not be what we are today,” says 8th grader Katherine Whitt.This flight tonight had veterans who served in WWII, Korea and a few who also served in Vietnam.
“They never really got the welcome home that they deserved then and so now this is the least we can do,” says 8th grader Bella Palmer. The 79 veterans were welcomed back home in a big celebration at Port Columbus International Airport.
“Well it’s overwhelming. Over whelming. Never expected this,” says WWII/Korea Veteran Harold Mullet.
To date Honor Flight Columbus has taken 4,312 veterans to DC to see the memorials erected in their honor.
The American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Post 401, Caledonia, Ohio, recently presented a check for $900 to Honor Flight Columbus. The Auxiliary Post held a fish fry to raise the funds. Honor Flight Columbus is very grateful for their support.
Pictured here (L to R) are Auxiliary representatives Judy Ruhl, Sandy Hetzel, and Lois Best presenting a check for $900 to Jim & Kay Downing of Honor Flight Columbus.
Senior military veterans are riding better because 20 new, heavy duty wheelchairs are now in service at Honor Flight Columbus. The chairs were donated after a charity fundraising drive conducted by Delaware’s Knights of Columbus Council 1056.
“This is a great addition to our operations,” said Jim Downing, Honor Flight Columbus president. “Taking World War Two and Korean War veterans to see their memorials in Washington requires a chartered airliner, three motor coaches and 60 wheelchairs for each flight. These new chairs will upgrade our ability to provide our veterans with a day of honor and celebration for their service to America.”
Vance Outdoors held a fundraiser beginning in April and ending with a live radio show, a classic car cruise-in, and a raffle on June 11.
The activities resulted in donation of $25,089.13, which paid for 50 veterans to take the trip to see their memorials in Washington, DC.
Additional photos below are from the events on June 11.
The Post 239 Riders, Worthington, Ohio, presented 6 portable wheelchairs to Honor Flight Columbus during the April Post meeting.
Chuck Murray (L), Post member and Honor Flight volunteer, accepts them, shaking hands with ALR Treasurer Matt Favret (R). Post Commander David Kelly (blue cap) looks over their shoulders.
Saturday night, May 14, the veterans were welcomed home from their trip to Washington D.C. “They fought for our country and I just wanted to pay them back,” says 8th grader Evan Hannan. Students held fundraisers and asked local businesses for donations in order to send vets on the trip.
The Ohio Department of the Military Order of the Purple Heart donates $1,000 to Honor Flight Columbus.
Tom Cunningham, the organization's Judge Advocate (second from right) hands the check to Honor Flight Columbus Vice President Roger Dyer. Also participating (from left) are HFC Assistant Executive Director Carolyn Barger, Board Member Cindy Kanwar, and Executive Director Bonnie Sparhawk.