American Apparel workers cook up $2K to help Honor Flight

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, March 26, 2009

American Apparel in Opp is known for helping to outfit the military, so it should come as no surprise that employees at the company recently raised more than $2,200 to help send local World War II local veterans to Washington, D.C.

Peggy Henderson, general manager at American Apparel, said that several of the plant’s 200 employees took the initiative to hold various fund-raisers this past month. Those fund-raisers raised about $1,700 for the Covington Regional Honor Flight, which will send at least 45 veterans to visit the World War II war memorial in the nation’s capital in May.

Henderson added that American Apparel’s corporate office in Selma also donated $500 to the cause.

“It was employee driven, but management was behind this effort 100 percent,” she said. “We take pride in creating military uniforms for the Air Force, the Marines and the Navy, here in Opp. Somebody, somewhere produced our local veterans’ uniforms years ago, so we feel a real connection to this event.”

Henderson said Dorothy Stanley, an employee at the plant, spearheaded the fund-raising effort.

“We did a sausage and biscuit breakfast and a few bake sales,” Stanley said. “We had a hot dog dinner one night, as well. Some of the workers, as well as people outside the plant, gave us donations as well. As far as the breakfast, the bake sales and the hot dogs, we were selling those to our fellow workers at the plant.”

Stanley said the various fund-raisers would not have been possible without the help from fellow employees Janie Blocker, Myra Killough, Rose Wilkerson and Sang Baker.

“We just wanted to see (these veterans) get what they deserve,” Stanley said. “They fought for us so that we could be free, and it was important to me and everyone here at the plant to make sure they have the chance to take this trip.”

Tonitta Sauls, Covington Regional Honor Flight board president, said American Apparel’s effort was exemplary.

“I am very excited to see people get involved and take pride in getting involved with helping to raise the money,” she said. “Everyone who contributes should feel a part of this honor flight network. It’s not about those of us who are on the board and doing the planning; without the help of those people who are willing to devote their time, their money and their efforts to this cause, then it wouldn’t happen.

“And the people who are raising the money realize this is all about the veterans. This is just a small, small token of what we can do to commemorate and to thank them.”

Those who are a WWII veteran, or know a WWII veteran who is interested in applying for a seat on the flight, may pick up an application at the Andalusia Chamber office, contact Sauls at 334-493-3070, or any other CRHF board members, including Greg White, Pam Steele, Dwight Mikel, Robert Williamson and Ashley Eiland.

Those who wish to contribute to the travel expense may send tax-deductible contributions to: CRHF, c/o Covington County Commission, P.O. Box 188, Andalusia, AL 36420.

The flight is scheduled for Sat., May 2.