By Melody Vallieu
TROY — It was a toss up between earning some vacation spending money or helping others.
Nate Reynolds made the choice that made his parents proud — helping veterans.
Reynolds, 8, set up a cold drink stand, Nate’s Drink Stand, Thursday through Friday, at his mom’s garage sale, with all proceeds going to Honor Flight, in conjunction with the Racing the Plane event of Erik Jon Barrett. Barrett is raising funds to support Honor Flight Dayton — which takes veterans from all conflicts to see the memorials in Washington, D.C. His goal is to raise $10,000 for Honor Flight to continue to serve veterans in the area with the trips. Barrett will also greet veterans this fall at one of the Honor Flight send-offs at Dayton International Airport, hop on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and meet the group of veterans in DC by lunch and return to Dayton in one day. Barrett drove up on Thursday to meet his newest little supporter, give him a special edition coin he had made in honor of his ride and made him an events page linked to his Racing the Plane page on Facebook.
Nate said when he learned about the Racing the Plane event, that is when he decided to earn money for Honor Flight, too.
“Eric made me think about helping the veterans,” said Nate. “I liked the idea that he was doing and I wanted to help.”
Reynolds, an incoming third grader at Cookson Elementary, first learned about Honor Flight through his mom Lisa Reynolds, who accompanied veterans on her first Honor Flight in April. Since then, Lisa and Nate have become official volunteers and attend the send-off and return events at DIA in support of the veterans, serving breakfast and greeting veterans and their families.
Nate, also the son of Marvin Reynolds, raised $125 on Thursday alone, and Lisa said people would just stop at the garage sale and donate.
“People would just stop, donate money and leave,” Lisa said. “Some people even paid $5 for a Coke.”
Larry Blackmore, a Troy resident and Honor Flight organizer, also stopped by the sale on Thursday, bringing Nate a hat, backpack and parking pass for his future visits to DIA.
Nate’s cousin, Taylor Roop, 12, helped each day.
“I liked the idea of what he was doing and I wanted to help,” Taylor said.
Nate said he is thankful to all those that helped make his fundraiser a success. He said him and Barrett are working on other ways the two can collaborate to raise even more money this summer.
“I want to thank all the people that donated,” Nate said.
For more information on Honor Flight, visit http://www.honorflight.org/ or on Facebook at facebook.com/search/top/?q=Honor Flight Dayton.
For more information on how to support the Race the Plane event, visit https://www.facebook.com/HonorFlightEnduranceRide.
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