Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Classic film aims to raise money for Honor Flight

By Noah Cooperstein

The E. Glenn Giltz auditorium, located in Hawkins Hall on the SUNY Plattsburgh

campus, was occupied by a rather different demographic than usual. The many rows of red

cushioned seats, which are usually filled with current and potential new students to the college,

otherwise known as Millennial, were occupied by another generation, the Greatest Generation.

On Sunday, April 17th, North Country Honor Flight, a nonprofit organization with the

mission of flying World War II veterans to their memorial in Washington, D.C., including

veterans from other conflicts, hosted “A Film For Freedom: Casablanca”, a showing of the film

of Casablanca to honor of those who have served their country.

With the help of PSUC public relation campaign students, the event was able to become a

reality, with the students spending many months planning and organizing the event.

Christian Burek, the head of the Casablanca event, worked very close with his follow

classmates to make this event a reality.

“As a collective group we were able to use all that we have learned throughout our time

in the major as well as picking up on some new things along the way,” said Burek.

At the beginning of the Fall 2015 academic semester, PSUC’s Campaign Plan and

Development class teamed with the North Country branch of Honor Flight.

 As the fall semester progressed, students began to form a plan to assist North Country

Honor Flight. Near the semester’s end, the class launched “Operation: Greatest Generation,” a

public relations campaign aiming to further North Country Honor Flight’s mission to send local

WWII and Korean War veterans to Washington, D.C. to see their war memorials.

Once the 2016 Spring academic semester began, the campaign class hit the ground

running and never looked back.

After many months of planning, Burek was happy to see the once written-down idea

finally come alive.

“The event went rather well,” said Burek “It was a good way to show respect to the

veterans as well as giving us a taste on what to expect when we venture out into our field of


The Director of North Country Honor Flight, Barrie Finnegan, was very appreciative of

all that these students have done for him over the past year.

“The students put their heart and soul into this event and it truly showed,” said Finnegan

“The event was very well put together.”

The event began with both Burek and Finnegan talking about Honor Flight and thanking

the veterans for all they have done.

After the speech, the showing of the film Casablanca, a war film that had caught the

hearts of Americans who at the time of the film’s release, were living during World War II,


The film, at the time and even till today, has become much more than the typical wartime

film due to the emotional plot between the main characters Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), Ilsa

Lund (Ingrid Bergman), and Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid).

Lisa Perry, a student at PSUC, thought it was a great way to bring the community and

students together.

“The students did a great job by brining together both these generations,” said Perry “No

matter how different we may be in age, people are always able to find a common joy when it

comes to films.”

Ross Bouyea, who served in the Army from 1943 to 1945 and who has participated on a

Honor Flight, was very pleased with how the event unfolded.

“It was beautiful. The group that they have got here is an amazing group. The have done

a lot of great things for us and it always well appreciated.”

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