Justin Peterson and his family will be hosting the 6th annual Nacho Dinner, Dessert Auction, and Raffle on March 7, 2015 starting at 5 p.m. at the Chewelah American Legion to benefit Inland Northwest Honor Flight.
Raffle tickets are now available for a donation of 1 for $2.50 or 5 for $10. Contact Peterson at www.jp4vets.com or call 509-670-2322 for more information. There are also tickets available through the Chewelah Legion members.
This year’s prizes (4 winners) are first choice of:
A night at the Davenport Hotel
2 tickets to the WSU vs Stanford football game on October 31
2 tickets to the UW vs Sacramento State football game on September 12
Autographed Mariners Baseball
Editor’s Note: Here, Peterson shares his personal story of how he has raised over $86,000 for Inland Northwest Honor Flight in the past 5 years:
My name is Justin Peterson, a 14 year old on a mission to support our Military Heroes.
Five years ago while living in Chewelah, I did a non-graded school project on World War II.
As part of this project I wrote a paper on World War II and had the honor of interviewing and sharing the stories of 10 local WWII Veterans with my community. I also raised money for Inland Northwest Honor Flight by speaking at meetings in town, writing letters asking for donations, holding a change drive, and a Nacho feed. My original goal was to raise $600, enough money to send one Veteran to D.C. Generous donations from all over helped me to raise $4,300 and send 15 Veterans to D.C. on a deserving trip with donated Southwest Airlines plane tickets that year.
I have hosted 7 more Nacho Feed dinners in two towns since then. My family and Legion friends have put on 3 ATV Poker Rides and I have assisted with 3 other poker ride fundraisers.
With everyone’s help I passed my initial goal and have now raised and secured donations of over $86,000 allowing over 140 Inland Northwest Veterans to be honored with an Honor Flight!!!
In July of 2011 and May of 2013, I was honored with the opportunity to travel to D.C. on an Honor Flight with a group of Veterans as a guardian. These trips have helped me to see just how important my work is, and just how much this honor means to our Military Heroes. I have decided to continue to raise money for this wonderful organization to ensure that all the Veterans who would like to go to Washington D.C., can. My new goal is to raise $100,000 by the time I graduate from high school, so far my total is at just under $87,000.
Since relocating to Wenatchee, I have begun to spread the word of Honor Flight to the Veterans of this area. I have convinced many to sign up for their flights and have been able to raise even more money for this wonderful organization. Through my work I have met many of our most senior Veterans and have made some wonderful friends. I have shaken the hands of Heroes and have had dinners with living history. It means a lot to me when our Heroes are honored for their service and sacrifices from so long ago. I am trying to help our Veterans before it is too late and need your help. I am always looking for ways to raise money and secure donations as well as tell people about Honor Flight so they can help. I would be honored if you would consider helping me with my goal.
Inland Northwest Honor Flight is an organization that sends our WWII, Korean War, and terminally ill Veterans of all wars on all-expenses paid trips to Washington D.C. to see the memorials built in their honor. As time goes on, the program will naturally transition to the most senior Veterans. The most senior and terminally ill Veterans are always given priority. The average cost to send a Veteran is now $900 which includes airfare, meals, hotel and transportation. So far 892 Inland Northwest WWII, Korean War, and terminally ill Veterans have gone to D.C. since the first flight in November 2009. There are hundreds of Veterans on the waiting list right now and this does not include the dozens that have passed away before having a chance to go on their Honor Flight. Because INWHF relies solely on donations, every little bit really does count, and time is running out for many of our Heroes.
I continue to raise money by selling wristbands and hat pins on my website. I attend various events to help spread the word and ask for donations. I do letter writing campaigns as well as give speeches to anyone who will listen. I host Nacho Dinners and Poker Rides and help with other events when offered. With the help of my mom I am also filling out applications for grants and awards to try to help INWHF get even more money to help our Veterans.
This work has helped me realize just how important it is that we help our WWII, Korean War (and all) Veterans be honored for their service and sacrifice so many years ago, for many of them this is the only thanks they have ever received for serving our County and protecting our freedoms. Many have told me that it helped them heal and say goodbye to their fellow brothers and sisters who died so many years ago. Most of these men and women are in their 80s and 90s now and over a thousand are passing away each and every day; five of my close WWII friends have passed away just in the past year. These men and women saved the world. They fought for all of us. I can do what I do today because of them. It is so important that we all pitch in and help honor them before it is too late.
What can YOU do?