By Michelle Colesanti

Friends of FishHawk Night of Honor logoIt is rare to find individuals who form a local non-profit organization for the sole purpose of helping others, whether to help a family in the community or helping to meet the needs of local social agencies. Kelly Rowjohn is the driving force behind Friends of FishHawk.

“We get together and help families who are dealing with major illnesses with household chores, or yard work. Dinners for those who can use a break for one reason or another and of course, to honor our military,” said Rowjohn.

Friends of FishHawk will host a Night of Honor, a star spangled salute to America’s WWII heroes, and the proceeds will fund the October Honor Flight mission provided by Honor Flight of West Central Florida (HFWCF). This fight, and all of the HFWCF missions, allows Veterans to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C. at no cost to them.

The Night of Honor will take place on Saturday, September 13 from 6-10 p.m. at the Palmetto Club located at 17004 Dorman Rd. in Lithia. The dress for this adult only evening is cocktail attire, and will feature dinner, dancing, silent, live and dessert auctions, cash bar, live band (Raizing Cain), Garden Memorial Walk and more.

Friends of FishHawk have chosen this mission because a lot of military families reside in the FishHawk area. Programs to welcome members of the military who are returning from deployment by lining the person’s street with flags, ribbons and signs are part of what Friends of FishHawk members do.

Rowjohn said, “Over the last year, we have watched the Facebook posts of one of our residents (Marie Gilmore) who is very involved with Honor Flight, and it touched our hearts to know that with the help of Honor Flight Network, we are able to honor ‘Our Greatest Generation’ by taking them to visit their memorials.”

The group has made a commitment to sponsor the entire October flight. To accomplish this goal, it must raise about $30,000. The cost to attend is $40 per ticket or $300 per table. Tickets can be purchased at What’s In Store, located in the Winn Dixie Plaza on FishHawk Blvd. from Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Corporate and individual sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information on this event or sponsorship, call 655-9985.

For more information on Friends of FishHawk, visit or its Facebook page (Friends of FishHawk).

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.