It is an exciting time for our Hub. We have been fortunate to receive the support and encouragement of Jordan Reses Supply in Ann Arbor who has very generously agreed to provide funding for our Hub. On Feb. 24 the Board will decide if we have enough time, and the funding, to confirm the June 24 flight date.
We have added a new Board Member to our Hub. Our tenth Board Member is a USAF Representative in the five counties surrounding the Grand Traverse area. Beau A. Vore will be our Director of Veterans Outreach and help us make those connections to find Veterans to fly and organizations to participate on Flight Day from the Northwest side of the state.
To date we have two active Squadrons, one in Ogemaw County and one in Clare County. We have a district group in Traverse City. There are three Squadrons working through the process of becoming fully activated in Oceana/Mason Counties, Emmet/Cheboygan/Charlevoix counties, and Montcalm. And, currently I am helping a Squadron in Kent County get up to speed. My goal is to have 10-12 Squadrons actively engaged in our four point focus: Finding Veterans to fly; making presentations; engaging schools and fundraising. They are literally shadowing the work we have been doing since we launched our Hub in October 2013. Their work is very important to our joint goal of flying Veterans to D.C. Once we decide to fly, the Board will take on the many tasks necessary to complete to make this Inaugural “Tour of Honor” a memorable day.
I am greatly encouraged with the reception we have gotten each and every time we make a presentation or hold a Town Hall meeting. I hope to have a Town Hall meeting in Mecosta County in the near future to update the community on our progress. We are going to need many volunteers to help us handle all the necessary steps to a successful trip. We have a good start, but a long way to go.
I invite you to venture on this journey with us and be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves individually. I can assure you, you won’t regret it. We want you to be a part of this special day. Please check our website and Facebook page often for updates.
January update:Well here we are just six months until our Inaugural Flight! So many wonderful things are happening… Our Board was delighted to be named as the “Editor’s Pick” for Citizen of the Year from the Pioneer newspaper. What an awesome honor!! And, we received a grant from Honor Flight Network as well as matching funds from the Mecosta Community Foundation that has helped our bank account immensely.
Two more Board members were added in January. Jeanne Giroux has come on board ready to handle the flight day preparations and planning; Kim Sarasin Dushane will be taking over as Treasurer to relieve
Joe of one of his many responsibilities. Both women have a wealth of experience between them and a great network of contacts. Welcome and thank you for stepping up just when we needed you!
I want to especially acknowledge the efforts of one very talented woman. Lee Ann McCormick developed our website and when it was launched it was so much more than I could have even imagined. She has done a stellar job, with a little help, but I sure wouldn’t have even known where to start. Lee Ann is our Social Media Administrator and just happens to be married to our Vice President, Joe McCormick.
I appreciate very much all the efforts and time the Board Members have invested in our Hub. Each one has made a direct impact on our success thus far. We have much, much more to do though.
Our Hub area covers approximately 51 counties in the state and we have devised a system for amassing volunteer groups for these counties. We will list them as ‘Squadrons” with a Point Person who will assemble a core Team and report to the Hub Director. They will have four principle objectives: Find WWII Vets to apply for an Honor Flight; Public awareness in their county through presentations; reaching out to schools; and fundraising. Squadron Leaders will have a packet of materials sent to them and have a conversation with the Hub Director in detail about all forms, materials, etc. in the packet. When a volunteer base is acquired, the group will meet with the Hub Director in person, by conference call or SKYPE to answer questions, coaching and empower the Squadron to get our message out to their county! It is our hope that this will provide an efficient use of time and networking to reach more of the residents in our Hub area. If you are interested in ‘taking the lead’ in your county, please fill out a volunteer form here indicating that you are interested. We will publish the list and add to it as it grows. That way, if anyone wants to help, they can contact the nearest Squadron Leader to where they live.
We have ambitions to
surpass our goal of funding one flight to Washington, D.C. We want to fly twice!! We are getting more and more applications weekly
and feel a second, or even a third flight is urgently needed to get all these
deserving WWII Veterans to fly. Won’t
you help up with a donation? All of our
Board Members donate their time. We are
a 501c3 organization. Our Fiscal Agent
is the Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency.
Let’s make this happen!!
Check out our Sponsors so far here on the website. They are all so appreciated.
“Their dedication never wavered; neither will ours. Let’s get them flying!”
Our progress continues, exponentially, with the interest we have generated through the media, with presentations, and all the phone calls and contacts from our website. We are grateful to those who have applied to be Guardians but we need more. Please tell your family and friends about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It will be a day like no other. We are hoping to take 60-70 Vets and the same number of Guardians on our Inaugural Flight in June.
We are grouping volunteers into networks covering various counties and could use more help here. If you have an interest in “leading the charge” as they say, I will work with you on planning events, giving presentations and provide you with materials that will aid you. Our focus is primarily to r
each WWII Veterans and have them apply.
We need School Ambassadors to reach out to schools. it is so important to me that our school children fully appreciate what our WWII Veterans did to secure their freedom and the America they know today. Very soon that chapter in our history will be closed and sealed forever. These extraordinary men and women changed our destiny and in fact, the World. I have been constantly awestruck meeting them whenever I’ve had the opportunity.
Fundraising to date has been fast and furious. We are reaching every nook and cranny we can with the limited amount of time and staff, but utilizing every bit of information we can glean to find the right people who share our vision. I’m asking you to consider a tax deductible year end donation to our project. The more funds we secure, the more flights we can take, and the more seats we will have for our Veterans.
"Their dedication never faltered and neither should ours."
Welcome to the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight website. This is a personal crusade of mine that started two years ago in 2012 when I met 29 WWII Veterans who were invited to a Memorial Day Program I helped present to our community. These humble heroes made a lasting impression on me and I made it my personal mission to find a way to say “thank you” for all they endured on behalf of all Americans. One WWII Veteran whom I spoke with told me about Honor Flight and his experience flying to Washington, D.C. Well, I was hooked and decided I would do whatever I needed to make this happen for Veterans in my area. Since 2012 we’ve lost 4 of those WWII Veterans and I know time is running out. We need to act NOW. Thus began my journey of finding gifted and dedicated Board Members, Advisers and many, many willing volunteers to make this happen.
This is also personal to me because I have an Uncle who served in the Navy during WWII on the USS Arizona when it was bombed at Pearl Harbor. He survived, got to attend the Memorial at Pearl Harbor, but did not live to see the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. Sadly, I also lost my Father in 2000. He was a pilot in the Army Air Corps. at the tail end of WWII and the beginning of the Korean Conflict. He never knew about the Memorial in Washington, D.C. I have a lot of military in my family. I have the highest regard for those who served. I want to do my part in saying “thank you” on behalf of a grateful nation.
They are true heroes and deserve this “Tour of Honor.”
In 2013 we applied to be officially recognized as an Honor Flight Hub by the Honor Flight Network and today we are in hot pursuit of funds, and making plans for a flight in late Spring/early Summer of 2014 followed by a second flight in early Fall. We are a 501c3 organization, and your tax deductible donation will help get us there. We are well along in our planning stages but I am reaching out to you for your help. We need more people to come forward.
Won’t you help our Hub give these great Americans a day they will never forget? Please consider this my personal invitation to join us. You will find information for Veterans applications, Guardian applications and Volunteer applications on this site. You may also make a donation online. I promise you, you will not regret this. And then you too will have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped to get these deserving Veterans to see the memorials erected in their honor in Washington, D.C.