Anchor Point VFW to hold fundraiser for honor flight

A poker run and fish fry will take place on Saturday, June 29

The Virl “Pa” Haga VFW Post 10221 will hold the “Ride for the Halibut” poker run on Saturday, June 29, raising funds in support of the Last Frontier Honor Flight.

The Last Frontier Honor Flight’s mission is to “celebrate Alaska war veterans” by taking them to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials there dedicated to honoring veterans’ services and sacrifices, according to their website. The trips are funded by donations from private individuals and corporate sponsorships, with no cost to the veterans themselves.

Based in Wasilla, the LFHF is the only honor flight organization in Alaska.

“Our veterans are aging to the point that some may not be able to go, so there is a great deal of urgency to raise the necessary funds to get our area veterans to Washington, D.C. and visit those memorials built in their honor,” the website states.

The next honor flight is scheduled for Oct. 1-5.

Brad Phelps, director of the American Legion Riders Chapter 16 in Homer, is partnering with the VFW to raise $25,000 for the LFHF. According to a letter he wrote on May 12, he intends to set a record for the largest donation that the organization has ever received.

“My original goal was $80,000, because that’s how much one trip costs,” he said. “(I wanted) to be able to fund the whole flight, but then I had to be realistic, so I set it at $15,000, and then I got so close to it so quickly that I figured I should go for more.”

According to Phelps, the largest single donation that the LFHF has ever received was around $20,000.

Some Homer area veterans have been on the honor flight in the past, he said, including Clem Tillion and Robert “Bobby” Haynes.

“I’m just raising money for the organization in general, but in doing so, I’ve actually encouraged a couple of vets and also brought the Last Frontier Honor Flight acknowledgement to a couple of vets that are now going to apply for it,” Phelps said.

The poker run begins on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the VFW. There is a $25 buy-in to participate. Players will receive a stamp sheet to mark their route and draw their first card at the VFW.

The poker run is self-guided; participants will draw their next cards at the Salty Dawg Saloon, then the American Legion Post 16, located at 2410 East End Road in Homer, before returning to the VFW to draw their final card. The deadline for the last card drawn at the VFW is 5 p.m.

The player with the best five-card poker hand will be eligible to win a guided halibut charter, a prize valued at $500. The player with the worst poker hand will also receive a prize, Phelps said.

“It’s just a creative way to get people to … join something that’s fun for donation,” he said.

Also as part of the fundraiser, the VFW will host a fish and chips dinner with fresh, locally caught halibut on Saturday from 5-7 p.m. A $22 donation is suggested for each plate. All proceeds will be donated to the Last Frontier Honor Flight.

Live entertainment will be provided by the KBay Renegades during the fundraiser, starting at 7 p.m. There will also be a silent auction with items donated by several Homer small businesses and other organizations or private individuals.

In addition to Saturday’s fundraiser, Phelps has already raised approximately $11,000 through other efforts over the last year, including by raffling off a motorcycle lift he personally fabricated.

Phelps has also coordinated with a Kenai quilter, Jenny McGrady, who is associated with the Quilts of Valor Foundation, he said. McCarthy volunteered to make a quilt specifically themed around the LFHF, which Phelps will include as part of a raffle. Raffle tickets will be sold starting during the “Ride for the Halibut” fundraiser and continue for several weeks, with the winning ticket pulled at the Salute to Vets motorcycle rally held in Sterling on July 19-20.

In August, Phelps will also be participating as one of 100 riders in the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge, a long-distance motorcycle race beginning in Key West, Florida, and ending on the Homer Spit.

He said that part of his involvement in the challenge is to raise awareness for the LFHF, as the Hoka Hey organizers encourage riders to select a charity to spotlight during their participation.

For more information on the events for Saturday’s fundraiser, visit

Further information about the Last Frontier Honor Flight is available at

Correction: This article has been updated to include Jenny McGrady’s correct last name.