December 4, 2019

Madison courthouse to host chili fund-raiser Tuesday - Daily Leader Extra : Local News

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Madison courthouse to host chili fund-raiser Tuesday

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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2019 3:29 pm

As this fall's frosty mornings grow a bit chillier and snow flurries become part of the daily weather forecasts, area residents may want to enjoy eating comfort foods to help ward off the cold.

The staff at the Lake County Courthouse in Madison wants to help with that mission and another effort to support South Dakota veterans with a chili feed fund-raiser on Tuesday. The midday meal with its freewill offering is intended to raise money for the Honor Flight program.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., organizers will hold a chili feed for all diners who come to the election room on the first floor of the Lake County Courthouse. A dining area will be set up there. Along with the main course, members of the Madison VFW Auxiliary chapter will bake and provide dessert.

Organizers are asking diners to provide a freewill offering with the proceeds contributed to the Midwest Honor Flight program.

The Honor Flight program typically serves senior veterans from the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War eras and also terminally-ill veterans who have served during any U.S. military conflict. The program transports veterans, without charge, to Washington, D.C., to visit the nation's memorials.

Initially, one of the first organizers, an aircraft pilot, offered to fly with two veterans to Washington after the national World War II memorial was completed in 2004. In January 2005, the pilot, Earl Morse of Springfield, Ohio, proposed a larger program to his local flying club, and 11 other pilots volunteered to help. That same month, a board was formed, funds were raised and other volunteers joined. In May 2005, six small planes flew 12 veterans to Washington for the first Honor Flight.

Since then, the national Honor Flight program has expanded to transporting veterans in chartered airliners. At the end of the 2017 flying season, the network had escorted more than 200,000 veterans to the national memorials, free of charge.

Courtney VanZanten, Lake County veterans service officer, said several area veterans have traveled to the nation's capital through the Honor Flight program. County officials and courthouse staff hope that the Tuesday chili luncheon and fund-raiser will collect $733 in contributions, the estimated expense of transporting one veteran to Washington, D.C.

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