FARMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Farmington American Legion Post 140 members are stepping up to help local veterans and their guardians have a trip of a lifetime on the honor flight.

Honor flights send World War II, Korean War and Vietnam veterans to the nation’s capital free of charge, but their companions have to pay a fee.

Now thanks to Farmington American Legion Post 140, there’s an additional $4,000 to support the cause.

“We were overwhelmed by the response. We want to thank everyone that contributed,” said Les Emken, adjutant at Farmington American Legion Post 140.

Emken said they didn’t expect raise so much money during the Spoon River Drive Fall Festival.

“This is the first year we’ve done this. We started this as just having a booth at Spoon River Drive to make people aware of Farmington American Legion and get new members,” he said.

But one American Legion member suggested doing a 50-50 raffle, and that’s when the money started rolling in.

“And then it ended up with donations as well as the 50-50… It just grew, and we’re grateful to all the people that committed money and contributed throughout the community,” said Emken.

Emken said some of the money raised will fund companion tickets on honor flights to Washington D.C., which run about $500 each. They will donate the remaining funds to the Greater Peoria Honor Flight.