The mission is clear. The new, nonprofit High Desert chapter of the Honor Flight Inland Empire Hub has its sights set on giving deserving World War II veterans a chance to visit their own war memorial in Washington, D.C.
According to High Desert chapter president Kevin D. Byrne, his organization plans to hold ongoing fundraisers to raise money for its cause. Its first event will be a One-Mile Walk/5K and 10K run on April 23 at the Apple Valley Golf Course, 15200 Rancherias Road, Apple Valley.
Entry fees are $10 for the walk, $15 for the 5K run an $20 for the 10K run.
“This will be the first time in the history of the Apple Valley Golf Course that a run will happen on the golf course,” said Byrne. “We hope this event will help to get Honor Flight’s cause into the hearts and minds of the residents of the High Desert.
“The youngest World War II veterans in our communities are on average 89 years old and are passing on at rapid rates. It's critical that we give them their one last day in the sun and show our support for the sacrifices they made.”
Honor Flight’s Walk/Run will kick off at 7 a.m. and finish at 8:30 a.m., according to Byrne.
A golf tournament will follow immediately afterward. The fee to play is $65 per person and a barbecue lunch is included. Byrne said prizes also will be given away.
Along with raising money through participation fees of the Walk/Run and golf tournament, Honor Flight also is asking individuals and businesses to donate prize items to the event or to sponsor golf teams.
“The Honor Flight is a 501(c)(3) organization and will provide anyone who donates in any way with a tax-deductible receipt,” said Byrne.
“If the value of your donation is over $200, and you provide us with a digital logo for your company, your logo will be included on the back of the T-shirts that will be given away at our event.”
Honor Flight of the Inland Empire was formed in 2010 with a goal to raise $150,000 annually in order to send 150 veterans to Washington, D.C. each year. Byrne said its primary focus is on helping World War II veterans who have waited over 60 years to visit their memorial.
Along with holding a variety of public fundraising events, Honor Flight also solicits donations from schools, professional groups, businesses, civic entities and veterans service organizations.
Pieology Pizzeria in Hesperia was one of the first local businesses to step up to the plate and donate to the Honor Flight’s High Desert chapter, Byrne said. From 5 to 9 p.m. on March 16, the eatery will donate 20 percent of its profits to the charity from those who mention this article.
The establishment is located at 13325 Main St., Hesperia.
For more information, visit www.highdeserthonorflight.org. To donate to the organization, contact Byrne at 760-475-8958 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.