FAIRMONT — A trip that will take veterans to see their memorials is one step closer to its goal.
During Wednesday’s meeting of the Marion County Commission, Aaron Hawkins and Butch Phillips, organizers of the Huntington Honor Flight out of North Central West Virginia, requested $5,000 from the commission to go toward the goal of $50,000.
To Hawkins and Phillips’ surprise, the commission met their request and added more funds to it. Commissioners approved a motion to give the Honor Flight $7,500.
The flight is being put on by the Huntington Honor Flight Network and will be flying World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington, D.C., on May 2, 2015, to visit the memorials that were built in their honor.
Hawkins said the money from Wednesday’s meeting will help secure the airplane from US Air and buses for transporting the veterans around Washington.
This will be the second Honor Flight out of North Central West Virginia. The first flight was earlier this year. The first flight took 92 veterans to Washington at no cost to them.
Hawkins said the commission helped start funding for the first honor flight and was appreciative for them filling the request Wednesday along with an extra $2,500.
“We have money left over from the first flight,” Hawkins said. “This was a community project, and we want to continue to be a community project.”
Commissioner Randy Elliott said the flight will be some of the veterans’ favorite memory, and he, along with commission president Butch Tennant and commissioner Ernie VanGilder, was more than happy to donate the money to the next Honor Flight.
Veterans who would like to participate in the May 2, 2015, flight at no cost to them or those who would like to donate to the flight may call Hawkins at 304-363-4486 or Phillips at 304-363-8125.
In other business:
• The commission approved the reappointment of Chris Smith to the Fairmont-Marion County Transit Authority.
• Dan Wright with Ice’s Run Public Service District presented the commission with a $5,000 check repaying the loan the commission lent to the PSD in the summer. Wright said the loan was for an emergency that occurred when a water line broke.
• The next county commission meeting will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the J. Harper Meredith Building in Fairmont.
Email Emily Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.