West Junior High raises money for Honor Flight

By JESSICA KRAMPE

neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

For the second year, social studies classes at West Junior High School raised money to sponsor World War II veterans for the Mid-Missouri Honor Flight program, which recognizes veterans by sending them to visit their specific World War II memorials.

The effort was a two-week process, beginning on Nov. 1. Students brought in money, ranging from coins to a dollar to more. West Junior raised $4,300, enough to fund just over 14 flights. Each flight costs $300.

“We talked about how every piece of change counted,” said Brenda Blankenship, social studies department chair and coordinator of the fundraiser. “If we all pitch in a little bit, we can do a lot of great things,” she said.

The fundraiser was run through social studies classes, with 10 teachers collecting money. Every single student in the building was touched by it, Blankenship said.

West Junior was looking for a way to recognize Veterans Day and express gratitude.

“We talked about what the veterans sacrifice to go defend us,” Blankenship said. “We talked about being eternally proud of yourself and the civic value of it, giving back to the people who have given to you.”

Now collected, the money will be given to the Central Missouri Honor Flight. The flight dates have yet to be determined.

Blankenship said she would like to get involved with Honor Flight beyond donating the money. She said they might try to request veterans to come in and talk to the students about the experience of visiting their memorials.

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