AZ GIVE Team
I love when opportunities come to me to accept donations and/or to speak. Recently Honor Flight Arizona was nominated for the Spring Cycle by the AZ GIVE Team. I don’t know who nominated us, but I was thrilled to be able to go and meet others who are doing good things in our community as well, others who also benefited from the generosity of the AZ GIVE Team. After being escorted in to our ‘special guest seats’ at PayPal in Chandler, we were introduced and information was given about our organization. Then one by one we were asked to come up and receive our checks, and allow those that did the nominating to also be recognized. I never found out who nominated Honor Flight Arizona, but am so thankful they did!
Gila Buttes DAR
I was also given the chance to speak about Honor Flight Arizona at a meeting of the Gila Buttes DAR in Sun Lakes. Let me say first that I just love the ladies of the DAR, as does the whole of Honor Flight Arizona! The DAR have so many chapters all over the state that individually AND together do so much for Honor Flight. They come to send-offs with breakfasts for the Veterans, to homecomings with signs and well-wishes; some have even flown as guardians, continuing to give with their time, efforts, and funds to Honor Flight Arizona, sponsoring many a Vet on his journey to see the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC. My very first speaking engagement as a Board Member was at their annual state DAR meeting, something I will never forget. Anyway, back to the current DAR opportunity – after sitting and listening to all the (might I say VERY well-organized) projects they do to benefit others in the community, as well as reports of successful fundraising and great participation of their group, it was soon my turn and I struggled to keep in check the emotions that overcame me as I spoke about Honor Flight Arizona and how great things were being done for our Veterans. Just when I wrapped up ‘my time’, Madam Regent then surprised me with a check for Honor Flight Arizona on behalf of the Gila Butte DAR. I just LOVE surprises!! Afterward I enjoyed a lovely luncheon with these lovely ladies and was able to visit with and answer questions for them.
The year 2014 was Honor Flight Arizona’s very first year of being able to take 10 Honor Flights – 5 in the spring and 5 in the fall – flying a total of 272 WWII Veterans back to Washington, DC at no cost to them, accompanied by 260 guardians (who paid their own way). We couldn’t have done it without the support of those I have spoken about above and those that weren’t mentioned specifically but have been pivotal in our ability to do what we were able to do, such as Southwest Airlines, Arizona Diamondbacks, Freddy’s Steakhouse, Quicken Loans, Chick-Fil-A, Sonic, Lincoln Financial, Fountain of the Sun, many American Legion posts and Elks Lodges around the state, as well as other veterans’ organizations and individuals – you who know who you are. You are they that continue to make donations of time, money, talents, and help us find WWII Veterans and make possible what we want to do!! Last, but certainly not least – and because we could not do any of this without them either, our Honor Flight volunteers logged in 13,800 hours!! Many thanks to each and all of you!!
More to Go!
We still have approximately 300 WWII Veterans waiting to go on their own Honor Flight. I continue to remain hopeful for the funds to do again in 2015 what was a big surprise for us to do in 2014!!