2016 was the 15th Anniversary of “9/11”, the defining day in our lives as we encountered the darkest tragedy on US soil.
Out of this catastrophe, however, we gleaned the very best of the American Spirit. Unity rippled across our nation as we witnessed the selfless sacrifice of fire fighters, police officers, citizens and the 40 heroes of Flight 93. It was also the call for a small design firm in Akron, Ohio to step up and realize how, we, too could assist.
Our relationship with the people of Somerset County, PA, led to the natural call to service with them in the planning of the first Anniversary
Service of Flight 93. As the facts began unraveling of how the heroes gave their lives to keep the plane from destroying more lives
and our Nation’s Capital; we at Deitrick & Associates Interiors were also inspired to commit to the families of Flight 93 that we would assist with creating the Memorial to telling the their story. “93 cents for Flight 93” was born through the vehicle of The HALO Foundation, which would allow us to help raise the funds. Our target audience would be students, although we soon discovered a second equally vital partner in the population as we planned to work with the National Parks Service,
Amazing synergy sparked when we combined the energy of youth with the wisdom of age as soon as we included senior citizens. We surpassed our first fundraising effort in 2002, by nearly triple. Telling the story to schools and senior groups continues to be the template of our ongoing service.
At the 15th Anniversary Service, we had the largest group of people represented. Busloads, cars and motorcyles made the 200-mile trip to honor the heroes of Flight 93 on Sunday 9/11/2016. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel even commended our students who had come to pay homage as well, in her public address. Gordie Felt, President of the Families of Flight 93, extolled our efforts this year by being our Keynote Speaker at our Annual “Wings of Charity” Gala.
Propelled by the selfless courage of the heroes of Flight 93, the HALO Foundation continues to serve through intergenerational synergy on Disaster Relief. Our 2016 efforts included:
• Initiating over 400 visits by students and senior citizens to the Flight 93 Memorial
• Disaster Relief efforts that sent 2 truckloads of supplies to WV Flood Victims.
• A Student Team from the U of Akron, led by HALO’s own Hannah Adams, to physically serve in clean up and construction over the Labor Day Weekend.
• A collection of items being prepared for Louisiana Flood Victims in Baton Rouge to be delivered in 2017 by the largest group of schools ever to participate.
• The formation of Student Leaders to assist with both Disaster Relief efforts and an outreach to the elderly.
• Our first after-school mentoring program
• Partnering with “Dream Akron” endorsing their continued development.
• Grassroots fundraising to help promote some local efforts.
• A major service project to espouse victims of human trafficking.
We have a powerful team of students and seniors that will proceed in their efforts in 2017 to touch, encourage, supply and transport, when necessary, in our effort to enhance, or even bring a second chance to the lives of those in need by striving in every way possible to emulate the values proven by the heroes of Flight 93