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Andrew Fillmore's winning veterans essay rings true on Memorial Day

Left to right: Andrew’s grandfather, Robert Bihn, Andrew Fillmore, and his mother Teresa Fillmore.

The Port Clinton Elk’s Lodge recently announced the winners of the Port Clinton and District Essay Contest. Andrew Fillmore, a seventh grade student at PCMS, won the seventh and eighth grade competition. Andrew’s essay, “What does Veterans Day mean to me?”, also received first place in the State of Ohio and will go on to the Elk’s National Essay Competition.

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Catawba Island VFD breakfast benefit for Honor Flight

Catawba Island Volunteer Fire Department will be holding a benefit breakfast on Saturday, April 5, with all proceeds going to Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio. The menu includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, fruit, orange juice and coffee will be served 8-11 a.m. at the CIVFD located on Cemetery Road, Port Clinton. A $10 donation for Honor Flight will be accepted at the door. Additional donations will be warmly accepted as well.

Honor Flight Northwest Ohio is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization formed in 2007 to send the veterans of Northwest Ohio to Washington to see the memorials built to honor their service. To date in Northwest Ohio 1666 veterans have safely flown on 32 flights. The Honor Flight Network was founded by Earl Morse in 2005 and is comprised of 101 regional hubs in 39 states. Overall, approximately 81,000 veterans have been flown to the memorials in Washington.

Dan Barlow, member of the CIVFD, feels the idea of the fundraising breakfast is a way to contribute dollars for the local chapter. “We do this for our veterans, who have given us everything we have today,” said Barlow. 

John Gangway, Chief of the CIVFD agreed, “It’s the right thing to do, to give them a chance to see the memorial built in their honor.”   

It takes $400 to sponsor a veteran for this one-day trip. The all-inclusive trip provides transportation to and from Washington, bus service to the memorials and all meals and beverages throughout the day. In addition, wheelchairs are available for each veteran making the trip. A trained medical team accompanies each flight to assist with medical needs such as oxygen and diabetes management.

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs estimates that approximately 1,000 WWII veterans are passing away each day. Due to their deteriorating health, and their financial limitations, most veterans would not be able to see their memorial on their own. The members of the CIVFD want to help in the effort to send as many veterans as possible on this trip and invite the public to join them for breakfast and to contribute to the cause.

It is important to note that 98% of all donations to Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio are used to get the veterans to their memorials. Guardians who accompany the veterans each pay for the privilege of escorting the veterans on this trip. Local medical providers have generously donated the equipment needed for each flight. The Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio Executive Committee is also unpaid; they too volunteer their time for this once in a lifetime opportunity for our veterans.

How to donate:

Donations to Honor Flight Northwest Ohio can be made in many ways:

1. CIVFD Breakfast, Saturday, April 5, 8-11 a.m. at the CIVFD station on Cemetery Road, Port Clinton
2. In person at any Key Bank
3. Online at the Honor Flight Northwest Ohio website, www.honorflightnwo.org/donate.asp
4. To mail in a donation, send it to Honor Flight Northwest Ohio, P.O. Box 23018, Toledo, OH, 43623

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