Honor Flight sends 85 veterans to D.C thanks to dancing fundraiser

Local News

Honor Flight Northeast Indiana sends its 28th flight to Washington, D.C. Wednesday.

85 veterans will make the trip: 5 from WWII, 74 from the Korean War, 1 Cold War veteran, ad 5 Vietnam veterans.

The trip is fully funded by the Fort Wayne Ballroom Company. The group held a charity event in October with a goal of raising $75,000. They exceeded that goal and raised $77,000 at its “Dancing with the Heroes” black-tie event. 

The owners of the Fort Wayne Ballroom Company, Christopher Spalding and Kelly Bartlett, issued the following statement ahead of Wednesday’s flight: 

“Both being children of military families, we are so aware and appreciative of the sacrifices these people and their families have made. We should all honor our Veterans with whatever resources we can employ. As the owners of the Ft. Wayne Ballroom Company, we felt this was the best way to use our business to be of service to our community and these incredible people. We hope more people will come to Dancing with the Heroes on August 17th to help us support the important work that Honor Flight Northeast Indiana does.”

Volunteers and guardians gather for breakfast and a daily briefing at the 122nd Air National Guard Base. They’ll board a flight for D.C. and make stops at the WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Women’s, and Air Force memorials. They’ll also make a stop at Arlington National Cemetery and visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

“We are extremely pleased and honored by the efforts of the Fort Wayne Ballroom Company to host Dancing with the Heroes and name HFNEI as the beneficiary of their program. said Dennis Cover, president of Honor Flight Northeast Indiana. “The entire Board of Directors of HFNEI extends their gratitude to the Fort Wayne Ballroom Company and all of the members of the community who turned out for the program in support of our veterans. The continued support by Fort Wayne companies and individuals enables HFNEI to continue our mission of safely transporting veterans to Washington, D.C. to view the memorials that were built in their honor.”

The veterans will return home around 9 p.m. at the Fort Wayne International Airport. The public is invited to line up at the main terminal to welcome them home. Return time is approximate, but updates on the flight will be made regularly on the HFNEI Facebook Page

Honor Flight Northeast Indiana is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible. 95 percent of donations go directly towards veterans’ trips. Veterans who go to D.C. HFNEI do not have to pay any money. 

NewsChannel 15’s Alyssa Ivanson is on the 28th flight and will provide Facebook updates on the WANE Facebook Page. She’ll also have reports throughout the day on Wednesday and have more coverage through the Memorial Day weekend. 

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