Highland gives $5,600 to Honor Flight

Courtesy photo The Highland Golf Club presented a $5,600 check to the UP Honor Flight after its first annual UP Honor Flight FUNdraiser, held on Saturday, June 8. Presenting the check from the Highland are, from left, Sue Pifke, Kathy Neurohr, Gretchen Grzyb-Tallman, and Paula Waeghe and Scott Knauf from the UP Honor Flight.

HYDE — The Highland Golf Club recently present the UP Honor Flight with a check for $5,600 for the next Honor Flight.

The Highland hosted its first UP Honor Flight golf tournament on Saturday, June 8, which attracted 18 – four person teams.

Organizers of the Highland’s UP Honor Flight Golf Tournament were overwhelmed by the over-the-top support that the community showed toward the event, which allowed the donation to be made. Almost 150 bucket raffles, gift certificates and silent auction items were available to win or bid on, thanks to support of local businesses and individuals.

According to Scott Knauf, president of the UP Honor Flight, it is events such as the Highland’s Golf Tournament and small donor contributions that make it possible for U.P. veterans to travel to Washington DC twice a year to view the veteran memorials that have been built in their honor. In larger regions, it is common for corporate sponsors to underwrite the event or provide corporate jets to fly the veterans to DC. Here in the U.P., it is small businesses and donors who make it possible for 150 veterans and their guardians to fly to DC annually. It is no small feat for a small region like the Upper Peninsula to raise the $205,000 that is needed to send those two flights to Washington DC each year. Knauf is grateful to the Highland and the many others who make it possible.

Highland organizers plan to host a second annual Honor Flight fundraiser next year, based on the positive feedback from this year’s event. Participants remarked on the great food, amazing raffle prizes and silent auction items, and the friendly staff and golfers.

The top four teams in each flight took home prizes. Karen and Fran Ettenhoffer, Christie Forvilly and Mike Brayak took first place in the first flight with a 63, winning in a countback with Mark Kleiman, Dennis Ditrrich, Dennis Porath and Rob Brayak. In the second flight, Charles Olsen, Ray Houle, Bill Farrell and Jason Cousineau took first place with a 66, and Sue Pifke, Marcia Short, Tina Sanford and Amanda Ross took first place in the third flight with a 71, winning in a countback with Jon Servant, Judy Erickson, Spring Irving and Eric Irving.

Knauf encouraged any veterans who have not yet signed up for the UP Honor Flight to do so. The mission of the UP Honor Flight is to fly Upper Peninsula World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans to Washington DC to visit and reflect at their Memorials; memorials that stand in their honor. This “Tour of Honor” is provided at no cost to the veterans. Two trips are provided each year and priority is given to senior veterans — World War II and Korean veterans, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. Vietnam veterans may also apply, but with 430 World War II veterans dying each day, priority is given to them.

There are currently 380 veterans on the UP Honor Flight waiting list. Applications are being accepted from all veterans who served from 1941 to May 1975 whether serving during war time or peace time, stateside or overseas.

The next Honor Flight is scheduled to leave from Escanaba on Sept. 18.