Donna’s Showboat raises $10K for Honor Flight trust fund
By Taylor J. Hale
JUNCTION CITY – Donna’s Showboat in Junction City has joined with the Never Forgotten Honor Flight organization to create the state’s only Guardians Trust Fund.
The fund allows for guardians to accompany war veterans on their flights to Washington, D.C. to visit national war memorials.
“It’s the only one in 13 counties that does a fundraiser for guardians,” explained Jim Campbell, Honor Flight co-founder.
This year, Donna’s Showboat raised $10,516 for the Guardians fund, but the Junction City business has netted over $43,310 in the last four years.
“We just have to give to the veterans for all they do,” explained Donna DiStasio, owner of Donna’s Showboat. “They’ve done so much for us. This is nothing.”
The bar raised funds during the annual Donna’s Showboat Honor Flight Fundraiser, held on July 28. DiStasio presented the check to the organization on Aug. 15.
According to Campbell, the Honor Flight program has helped 3,360 veterans since its origins 10 years ago, according to Campbell. The group uses exact figures when referencing the number of flight attendees.
“We use exact numbers because each veteran is a real person with a real story,” said Mike Thompson, Honor Flight co-founder.
The group has also sent 2,017 guardians on the flights, which take place an average of four times a year. The cost for a guardian to accompany a veteran is around $500. Honor Flight policy lists that “veterans are assigned a guardian, regardless of their health.” The ratio of guardians to veterans can vary depending on each flight’s needs.
Organizers say the only qualifications needed for a veteran to participate in the Honor Flight program is to have served in the U.S. military in any capacity, anywhere in the world with honorable discharge, during the following dates: Merchant Marines – Dec. 7, 1941, to Aug. 15, 1945; World War II – Dec. 7, 1941, to Dec. 31, 1946; Korea – June 25, 1950, to Jan. 31, 1955; or Vietnam – Feb. 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.