MOUNT VERNON — In just two months, individuals and groups throughout Knox County have raised over $13,000 to sponsor an Honor Flight to take World War II veterans to the national memorial in Washington, D.C.
“It’s an easy product to sell,” said John Holley, one of the organizers from the Knox County 912 Project. “Most everyone has a father, grandfather, aunt or uncle who was involved in World War II.”
The group had hoped to raise the funds by July 4. The outpouring of support and commitment from the community has not been a surprise to Holley; however, some sources of funding were unexpected.
Contributions made by school children throughout Knox County have been “amazing,” Holley said.
Columbia Elementary School’s staff organized a golf outing which raised $3,491.50 for the flight funding.
The fifth-grade class set goals earlier in the school year and achieved them by passing out flowers during the Veterans Day ceremony on Public Square and raising awareness for the Honor Flight Network.
“They really wanted to be out there helping with the golf outing but we didn’t think it would be appropriate for them to be out there all day long ,” said Shelly Laslo, fifth-grade teacher.
Instead, the class promoted the golf outing and wrote letters to servicemen and women at Christmas time and have prepared letters for the “mail call” portion of the Sept. 18 Honor Flight.