Breaking News Bar
updated: 4/28/2014 9:52 AM

DuPage foundation working to help more World War II vets get on Honor Flights

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Those who attend the DuPage Veterans Foundation fundraising lunch can see military equipment and talk with veterans. The event supports Honor Flight Chicago.

       Those who attend the DuPage Veterans Foundation fundraising lunch can see military equipment and talk with veterans. The event supports Honor Flight Chicago.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer, MAY 2012

  • A display of military aircraft is a big draw for the DuPage Veterans Foundation's fundraiser at DuPage Airport. The planes and the setting connect the event to the cause, Honor Flight Chicago.

       A display of military aircraft is a big draw for the DuPage Veterans Foundation's fundraiser at DuPage Airport. The planes and the setting connect the event to the cause, Honor Flight Chicago.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer, MAY 2012

  • Honor Flight Chicago flies World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., for a day to visit the war memorial and take part in tribute ceremonies.

      Honor Flight Chicago flies World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., for a day to visit the war memorial and take part in tribute ceremonies.
    Courtesy of Mike Shoepke

  • Veterans on Honor Flight trips visit the memorials for their branch of the military. Here, veterans from the Chicago area get a group photo at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.

      Veterans on Honor Flight trips visit the memorials for their branch of the military. Here, veterans from the Chicago area get a group photo at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • The Legacy Girls, who often sing to send off veterans on Honor Flights, will perform at the DuPage Veterans Foundation's fundraising luncheon.

      The Legacy Girls, who often sing to send off veterans on Honor Flights, will perform at the DuPage Veterans Foundation's fundraising luncheon.
    Courtesy of Frank Nipper

  • The Boeing Stearman, also known as the "Kaydet," was primarily used as a military trainer aircraft throughout World War II. Chicago attorney David Hall will have his 1942 Stearman PT-17 at the DuPage Veterans Foundation's 2014 benefit for Honor Flight Chicago.

      The Boeing Stearman, also known as the "Kaydet," was primarily used as a military trainer aircraft throughout World War II. Chicago attorney David Hall will have his 1942 Stearman PT-17 at the DuPage Veterans Foundation's 2014 benefit for Honor Flight Chicago.
    Courtesy of David Hall

  • The North American Aviation T-6 Texan is a single-engine aircraft also used for training during World War II and into the 1970s. Chicago attorney David Hall will bring his 1944 Texan T-6 to the 2014 DuPage Veterans Foundation's fundraiser for Honor Flight Chicago.

      The North American Aviation T-6 Texan is a single-engine aircraft also used for training during World War II and into the 1970s. Chicago attorney David Hall will bring his 1944 Texan T-6 to the 2014 DuPage Veterans Foundation's fundraiser for Honor Flight Chicago.
    Courtesy of David Hall

 
 

The event bills itself as a luncheon but, really, it's all about the power of flight.

Flight can fuel the dreams of kids who attend the lunch Saturday, May 3, at the DuPage Airport and imagine what it would be like to get on a plane, fly through the sky and touch down someplace else.

Flight can connect the hearts and minds of history and military buffs at the DuPage Veterans Foundation's luncheon with the experiences of veterans who flew and served around the World War II-era warbirds that will be on display.

Flight can even trigger the generosity of someone eager to help a good cause by bidding for the chance to fly in a restored World War II plane.

The proceeds from the silent auction -- including the flight experience -- and from the entire DuPage Veterans Foundation lunch will help send veterans on what could be the most powerful flights of their lives. The event benefits Honor Flight Chicago, which flies World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to see World War II and military branch memorials and to take part in ceremonies that honor their service and the sacrifices of those who didn't make it home.

Started in 2012, the annual event already has raised more than $100,000 for Honor Flight Chicago. Organizers hope this year's lunch will generate at least $55,000 -- enough to fully fund an Honor Flight trip from Midway Airport to Dulles International and back, volunteer Christine Dettmann said.

The lunch, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., opens with a patriotic ceremony and includes a meal shared with attendees and veterans, raffles, a silent auction, entertainment and a display of World War II-era military items including aircraft.

Today, organizing committee member Wayne Fischer tells us more about DuPage Veterans Foundation's efforts to support Honor Flight Chicago. His comments were reviewed and echoed by foundation President Rich Jorgensen.

Q. What is your organization's mission?

A. To recognize special needs of our DuPage veterans and provide fundraising efforts to acknowledge our appreciation for all they have sacrificed for our freedom and safety.

Q. How do you work toward accomplishing that goal?

A. We hold an annual fundraiser at the DuPage Airport. We will add other fundraisers and aid veterans groups as we identify the need. This year it is on May 3. Leading up to that event countless hours are involved through our committee to raise donations prior to and during the event itself.

Q. Who do you serve?

A. Our primary focus is DuPage County, but we also reach out to many organizations and individuals who are enthused about supporting our event to raise funds to honor our World War II and Korean War Era Veterans.

Q. When and why did the organization start? How has it grown?

A. This organization was formed in late 2011 and early 2012. Its initial purpose was and continues to be to raise funds to support Honor Flight Chicago. As far as growth, we have raised $100,000 for Honor Flight Chicago through our 2012 and 2013 events.

Q. What kind of successes have you had?

A. Raising $100,000 and having many area veterans have the opportunity to see and be honored in Washington, D.C., is very special to all of us.

At these events, we have had more than 100 World War II veterans whom we honored for their service. To hear their stories and see their enthusiasm about their experience is something for everyone to appreciate.

Q. What challenges does the foundation face?

A. We need to reach a larger audience to let them know what we are doing and the benefit their donations bring to our veterans. As our World War II veterans pass, Honor Flight Chicago is also including our Korean War era veterans as the future of this program. Raising donations is the only way to ensure this honor is given to our veterans who are able to take the flight and experience their "day of honor."

Q. What do you wish the community at large knew about the organization?

A. We would like more people to understand how the donations work and the effect the trip has on our veterans. One only has to listen to our returning veterans from their "day of honor." We do not do this for our benefit, but the impact of what we do is very, very special to all of us.

We also need to inform Korean and World War II veterans that this event is in their honor and they are free to attend.

Q. How can readers get involved?

A. We generally have 30 to 40 adult volunteers help the day of the event in addition to Scouts, Sea Cadets and Air Patrol Cadets to help with our veterans.

We want folks to come and experience the event and certainly donate either personally or through business or service organizations they may be affiliated with.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here