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From the Hub Director

November/December 2018 Update:


Let me introduce you to our 2019 elected Board of Directors and Officers:  Bob Green, President; Diane Diehm, Vice President & Treasurer; Kathy Barnes, Secretary; Beau Vore; Gary Wendlowsky; Mike Harvell; Phil Rohloff; Karl Schreiner; Bob Petersen; Matt Hodges; Jonathan Edgerly; and Kelli Johansen.


Elayne McCollum, Arlene Anderson-Vincent, Bob & Anne Sowden, Todd Purcell and myself have resigned from the Board of Directors.  I am “officially” retiring, after five years and ten flights.  I know you join me in thanking all these men and women who dedicated a great portion of their time and talents to the success of our Hub and it’s mission.  I am grateful to them for travelling this journey with me.


We have a confirmed date for our Spring 2019 flight – May 22, 2019.  Mark your calendar and as the day gets closer, plan on volunteering and meeting our honorees who will be flying.  We will be housing all seated flyers at Ferris State University, with a two night lodging package, at no extra charge.


We have been invited back to the TC Veterans Cup Hockey Tournament in Traverse City on January 26, 2018.  This is a BIG event for us.  The Veterans Coalition and MMHF will be recipients of their fundraising efforts.  Hope to see you there!


Our newsletter is finished and is attached to this update. It recaps our 2018 year.


If you are looking for a meaningful gift for Christmas for that special someone, please consider a donation to our Hub to keep us flying.  You’d be “paying it forward” and helping a Veteran deserving of a seat on one of our flights.  We are a 501©3 non-profit, listed on Guidestar and all of our volunteers donate their time and talents.  Our EIN #47-5482612.  Check to see if your employer has a matching program.   


And, as we approach the holiday season, the Board of Directors and I wish you and your loved ones a blessing-filled season and a healthy and happy 2019.


As I step down as Hub Director I want you to know what an extraordinary privilege it was for me to meet you, share some moments, work with you and help make each flight memorable.  To my team:  I want you to know that it was an honor to serve with you, you continually exceeded my expectations and I wish you the best going forward.  To the new Hub Director:  God Bless you as you undertake the most rewarding purpose you will ever know in your life.  I will continue to watch out for our Veterans.


Peace, Hope and Love.


Tricia Donegan, “Hub mama” – OUT!

2013 – 2018 

2018: The Year in Review


As we wind down from our 2018 flying season, we wanted to thank all the people that support our mission and provide an update on our progress and accomplishments.  We are so grateful to the many, many people who contributed to our success year after year.  We completed two successful flights in 2018, providing 127 deserving Michigan veterans a “day to remember”. Everything we do is because of the veterans, “It’s all about the Veteran.”


STATISTICS:  Since we started flying in 2014, our Hub has successfully completed 10 Missions taking 697 honorees to Washington, D.C. to see their memorial.  Each flight costs an average of $105,439.  We hope to continue flying two missions each year, taking deserving Michigan Veterans on a “Tour of Honor.”  


Flight Costs:

Mission I:  $105,169.28               Mission VI:  $104,572.15

Mission II:  $98,046.73               Mission VII:  $105,097.62

Mission III:  $101,520.82            Mission VIII:  $109,162.35

Mission IV:  $101,553.18            Mission IX:  $126,925.29

Mission V:  $92,712.68               Mission X:  $109,631.42


MAY 22, 2018 FLIGHT:  It was a extraordinary day, lots of hustling on the part of our Staff, but the Veterans didn’t seem to notice.  We really wished Mother Nature could’ve held off just a little longer. We ended up eating dinner on the buses at the Air Force Memorial due to a thunderstorm.  We were delayed arriving back to Grand Rapids, but the crowd was even more excited when we finally deplaned!  75 Honorees took part in our flight and we also had about 26 other Veterans serving as Guardians or staff.  We again held off all the Vietnam Veterans and gave them their own special Welcome Home. Heroes one and all.  Each Honoree received Mail Call and were given a teddy bear by Project Hero Hugs as well as a specially made quilt compliments of some very talented local groups.  


Ferris State University hosted our flyers and did a stellar job.  The campus students at the Maple and Pine Buildings were efficient, helpful and very kind to all of us. We presented Ferris State University, Nestles/Ice Mountain and Leprino Foods with recognition awards for their support of our mission.


SEPTEMBER 26, 2018 FLIGHT:  We took 63 Veterans from the Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City to Washington, D.C.  Because of thunderstorms and lightning strikes along our flight path home we were delayed by two hours getting back to Traverse City!  Kudos to all those wonderful people who waited for us.  


Camp Grayling was a great option for our flyers to come and enjoy “life on base” again after all those years!  A lot of effort went into making this two day lodging package convenient and welcoming.  We especially appreciated the presence of active military and the special “fly in” by the Coast Guard station in Traverse City.  We presented the Oakland County Sheriff’s Dept. and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Dept. with special recognition for their cooperation in moving into another facility onsite in order to give our honorees the best accommodations.  We also recognized Ike Fabela, our 100 year old honoree!   



We again held back all of the Vietnam Veterans and gave them their own special Welcome Home.  Each Honoree received Mail Call and were given a teddy bear by Project Hero Hugs as well as a specially made quilt compliments of Delphine’s Quilt Shop volunteers.    


MAIL CALL:  Mail Call is the highlight of each trip for these deserving Veterans.  Please keep those letters and cards coming, we can always use them.  When we hear of a Veteran who cannot fly with us, we like to send them a packet of letters, cards and thank you notes for their service. Families, schools, organizations and clubs can all contribute.  Please consider collecting letters for our veterans.  No letter or card should be larger than 8 ½ x 11, please no glitter or two-dimensional objects (i.e, macaroni glued to paper).  Other than that, let your heart speak for your appreciation.  Mail letters to our hub address: P.O. Box 385, Mecosta, MI  49332.


AMAZON SMILE:   We are registered with Amazon Smile and hope you will continue shopping there by using the link provided for us to get credit for qualified purchases.  It’s easy and doesn’t cost you anything!  All you do is shop on Amazon through AmazonSmile.


KROGER PLUS:  We are also registered with Kroger Plus community rewards program.  We invite our supporters, friends and their families to obtain a Kroger Plus card from your local store, and then register online at   Then shop normally and be sure to swipe your rewards card each time you shop!




* * * * * * *


OUR THANKS:  To those people who helped us with our 2018 flight season, making phone calls, rounding up volunteers, attending an event, helping Veterans apply, getting the word out, talking with schools, attending a fundraising event, helping with letters for mail call, or financially sponsoring portions of our flights, our Board of Directors thanks you sincerely.   It takes an army of generous individuals to make this all happen. We couldn’t do it without you. “It’s never too late to thank a Veteran.”



We also want to thank those families who supported us through memorials in honor of their loved ones.



      2018 Mid-Michigan Honor Flight Board of Directors:

Tricia Donegan                        Bob Sowden                            Todd Purcell

Diane Diehm                          Arlene Anderson-Vincent        Mike Harvell                           Elayne McCollum                    Gary Wendlowsky                      Phil Rohloff

Bob Green                               Beau Vore                               Bob Petersen

                                                            Karl Schreiner  




Please follow us on Facebook and our website for upcoming events.

We love to see previous flyers and donors at events and fundraisers.

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