Local organizations are working together to present screenings in Elkins of a record-setting documentary honoring World War II veterans.
Mountain Hospice, in cooperation with Davis & Elkins College, Elkins Cinema 8 and VFW Post 3647 of Elkins and its Ladies Auxiliary, will offer two free showings of the film, "Honor Flight: One Last Mission" next week.
These will be the first showings in West Virginia of the emotionally moving documentary that set the Guinness World Record for largest film screening in 2012, when 28,000 attended the premiere at Miller Park in Milwaukee.
The movie will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Monday and 1 p.m. Tuesday at Elkins Cinema 8 in the Tygart Valley Mall.
"We want to give back," said Shannon Putnam, a representative from Mountain Hospice. "We also want to share the passion we have for military service men and women."
"We are happy to be doing it for veterans," Elkins Cinema 8 owner Nicholas Kostakos said. "It's gives them something for free in return for their service."
"Honor Flight" is a heart-warming documentary about four surviving World War II veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime - a visit to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The 24-hour journey is full of surprises that deeply affect all involved.
The film features the stories of veterans Joe Demler and Harvey Kurz, who raise money to help as many of their fellow veterans as possible make the trip, Orville Lemke, a former plumber and father of nine who fights to hold off terminal cancer so he can make the trip, and Julian Plaster, an 89-year-old poet who has survived almost all of his friends and family. The four men and others share their stories and wisdom as the trip unfolds.
The film is rated PG and is free to the public but donations will be welcome and collected by Mountain Hospice. All proceeds will directly support the Honor Flight program and the local We Honor Veterans program, of which Mountain Hospice is a participating member.
A "Celebration Exit" will follow the film, with the veterans present honored with a pin as they leave the theater. Veterans will also be provided with information on how to contact the Honor Flight Program to be able to see the monuments themselves.
Mountain Hospice was able to pay for the licensing fees to get the film in a local venue for no admission price thanks to help from Davis & Elkins College and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Elkins Chapter of the VFW, who both have a history of helping veteran-oriented fundraisers.
"We are all involved with community, family and veterans and the movie is representative of that," said Shannon Amorece, President of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Elkin's VFW. "It's important to keep veteran support going."
Due to limited seating for each show, reservations are required by calling Mountain Hospice at 304-823-3922. Tickets will be mailed or may be picked up at Mountain Hospice's main office, at 1600 Crim Ave. in Belington. Tickets can be ordered Monday up until the time of the show. As of presstime, only 30 tickets remained for the Monday show and only 100 for the Tuesday show.
To learn more about the film, visit www.honorflightthemovie.com. For further information about the local screening, call Putnam at 304-823-3922.