Honor Flight

EDITOR: Honor Flight Network is a national non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans - World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill as well as Korean Vets, all cost-free for the veterans. The Honor Flight network can be found all over the United States. For the last three years, DeAnna Deneen, at deannadeneen@gmail.com, has worked to bring Twin Tiers Honor Flight to southern New York and northern Pennsylvania. DeAnna is on alert constantly seeking out veterans who might be interested in participating in upcoming flights for this memorable day trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the veteran's respective memorials. Every veteran will have a volunteer companion to assist him or her for the whole day.

DeAnna said a $100,000 donation by Jeff Gural, the owner of Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols, will cover at least all the costs associated with the first Twin Tiers Honor Flight mission. That flight is scheduled for April 12 out of Binghamton Regional Airport.

The plane, a charter Boeing 737, will fly dozens of veterans and their companions from the Greater Binghamton Airport to Washington, D.C., for a tour of the military memorials. The flight will return later that day.

There is a need for donated or loaned wheel chairs for this flight. They need to be in good working order, with foot holds and working brakes. If you know of any available wheel chairs please call me at 570-746-3327 or write to me at yashsfarm@frontier.com.

My father, Ken Millard was a WWII veteran, as well as a German POW. I am honored to be volunteering to help with Twin Tier Honor Flight and hope to be a guardian to a veteran on one of the flights.

If you are a World War II or Korean era veteran, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill, and are interested in becoming one of these honored veterans for one of the upcoming flights please contact DeAnna at the above email address.

Please contact me if you know of any available wheel chairs or would like to donate to this worthy cause: the men and women who represent the "Greatest Generation", as Tom Brokaw wrote in his book thusly named, those who sacrificed for the freedom that we have today.

Marcella Millard Yasharian

Wyalusing

And, they're off!

EDITOR: When thinking about all of the many things that make Tioga County unique, having the Southern Tier's only harness horse racing venue at Tioga Downs must come to mind. Right here, in our picturesque backyard we are privileged to have one of the finest harness horse racing tracks in the country.

As we all know, Tioga Downs offers much more than racing. Excellent, affordable cuisine, top notch entertainment, a great venue for parties and presentations, and of course, fun electronic gaming. But Tioga Downs brings more than that to our area, even if we don't always realize it. When identifying all of the attractions that Tioga Downs offers we should also recognize that Tioga Downs provides Tioga County residents with good quality jobs that are close to home. But more importantly, Tioga Downs also offers us an owner who consistently shows his support to the community that supports him. Now, imagine all of that but bigger and better. If Mr. Gural and Tioga Downs win the bid to bring table gaming to Tioga County the opportunities for our county will include more jobs, more wages, increased tax revenue, additional visitors, gaming revenues and more! One of the many things that make Tioga Downs' bid unique is that the casino already exists and there is already great support for its expansion to table gaming. We don't have the rumblings of the "NIMBY" (not in my back yard) complaints that are airing elsewhere in the Southern Tier. In contrast, Tioga County's residents and community leaders have voiced their support for the expansion time and time again. Mr. Gural has already done the hard work. He just needs the "go ahead" and Tioga County will welcome and support this venture. We are "ALL IN!"

What is very important to realize and why we, as a community, need to support Mr. Gural and Tioga Downs is that a competing facility would not add jobs so much as it would shift jobs from Tioga to Broome County. And while we can hope for an influx of some tourism dollars to our county if a neighboring county wins the casino bid, it will pale in comparison to the dollars we could be adding to our local economy if Tioga Downs wins its table gaming bid. We cannot and should not let this become a "should've, could've, would've," moment for Tioga County. I encourage you to show your support for Tioga Downs by signing their petition at www.tiogadowns.com or by writing your own letter of support and sending it to: LeeAnn Tinney, Director, Tioga County Department of Economic Development and Planning, 56 Main St., Owego, NY 13827 or email TinneyL@co.tioga.ny.us.

Gwen Kania

President & CEO

Tioga County Chamber of Commerce