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'His light is back, and he wants that for others': 92-year-old veteran raises $22,000 for High Plains Honor Flight
Greeley Tribune - 9/26/2022
Sep. 27—A Koren War veteran gained a newfound purpose in life through participation in the High Plains Honor Flight.
Now, the "92-year-old man on a mission" is returning the favor by raising money — for the second year in a row — to help fellow veterans experience a trip that he credits with saving his life.
In late June, Dick Hall put together the Second Annual Golf Tournament provided by Honor Flight I to raise money for veterans to partake in the High Plains Honor Flight.
"The Honor Flight saved my life," Hall said about the trip that sparked joy in him again after his wife died. "How can I repay the Honor Flight? This is my method."
The High Plains Honor Flight is an opportunity to repay and honor veterans for their service via a two-day trip to Washington, D.C., free of cost. The organization begins the trip with a send-off from Loveland to the Denver International Airport with cheerful, patriotic observers along the way.
On Day 1, the group flies to D.C. and attends a banquet. It spends Day 2 of the trip visiting every war memorial dedicated to veterans.
After meeting Hall a few years ago, Renita Henson convinced him the Honor Flight was a good solution to his battle with depression. When he returned, he had a new sense of meaning in life.
"It gave him so much purpose and so much new joy to have something to live for that he decided he wanted to give back," Henson said.
On Monday morning, Hall presented a check of $22,000 to Honor Flight board members Mark Gill and Matt Voris at Pelican Lakes Golf Course. The money will go toward supporting multiple veterans on the 2023 Honor Flight.
"We truly appreciate your support of High Plains Honor Flight," Voris said. "To date, you've donated ... more than $40,000 to our cause. That's put at least 20 veterans on trips to D.C."
Henson also presented Hall with a plaque Monday in appreciation for his dedication to supporting veterans.
Coming back bigger and better than before
The second golf tournament brought an overall larger turnout compared to last year, with 34 participating teams containing four people per team. Likewise, Hall raised $7,000 more this past June in comparison to the previous year's event.
Hall said he has no plans to stop his efforts to raise money for this cause anytime soon. He hopes to boost the number of funds raised to $30,000 at the 2023 tournament, scheduled for June 19.
Going into their third year, Hall and his helpers are stepping it up on ways to raise more money and reach more veterans by bringing in more community support from Greeley, Loveland and Fort Collins, according to Sheila Ash, Hall's best friend and team member of Triple T Haven.
If people want to sponsor Hall's endeavors to support High Plains Honor Flight, wish to participate in the golf tournament or want to send a donation to Hall, please contact Henson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
High Plains Honor Flight is also on the lookout for northern Colorado businesses, that believe in the cause, interested in becoming partners with the organization, according to Voris. For more information, contact the organization by going to highplainshonorflight.org/contact.
"It gives him meaning and purpose," Ash said about Hall's love for organizing the event, helping veterans, interacting with the community and getting donations. "His light is back, and he wants that for others."
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