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Kern County Honor Flight recipient Leo Dumouchelle shows a letter he received from school children thanking him for his service. All the Honor Flight recipients received letters from relatives and school children on the ride back to California in this April 2013 photo.

An association of local pilots is helping World War II veterans visit the nation's capital.

The Bakersfield Flying Club, a small group of private aviators based at Meadows Field, has donated more than $6,000 to Honor Flight Kern County, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sending groups of military veterans to tour Washington, D.C.

The money was raised through a raffle, club president Bill Woodbury said in a news release.

After considering several charitable options, the club's board of directors decided Honor Flight was the best choice due to the urgency of the need and the logical tie-in with aviation.

"We were totally surprised when the flying club called and said they wanted to help," Lili Marsh, chairwoman of Honor Flight's local chapter, said in the release.

The donation is one of the largest single contributions Honor Flight Kern County has received, Marsh said.

While the flying club spearheaded the effort, much of the donated cash came from the general public, not just the pilots.

The check for $6,614 was presented to Honor Flight during a recent meeting at the VFW Hall in downtown Bakersfield.