Funds being raised for Honor Flight
Fund-raising efforts for the seventh Jackson Heights High School Honor Flight will continue this Saturday with a special Elk Creek Opry performance.
But an increase in airline ticket prices has made the need to raise more funds a priority for the local program, those involved with the program have noted.
Adrianne Walsh, Jackson Heights district superintendent and elementary principal, said that when the school’s Honor Flight program made its last journey to Washington, D.C., with local veterans of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars in September of 2015, the total cost of the trip was about $10,000.
As of this week, the program — which is entirely funded by donations — has about $10,450 to put toward the next Honor Flight, which is tentatively scheduled for next spring. But with Southwest Airlines — the national Honor Flight program’s official airline — raising airfares in the interim, the school is looking at having to raise another $4,000 to offset those price hikes, Walsh said.
“We flew for about $236 per person the last time. The rate they’ve given me for the next one is $367 per person,” said Walsh, who noted that those airfares cover the cost of about 30 high school “guardians” — who are also involved with fund-raising efforts — and support personnel traveling with veterans.
The estimated cost is also contingent on Southwest Airlines granting “green passes” that allow participating Honor Flight veterans to travel to and from Washington at no cost, she added.
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