In result of unexpected press regarding fines for not having the proper permits to sell hamburgers at the park, Justin Peterson has raised more than $700 for Inland Northwest Honor Flight.
Peterson, 12, received national exposure after Spokane’s KREM 2 News reported (on Aug. 9) that his family was fined over $100 by the Tri County Health District at the Rev It Up for the Vets Car and Motorcycle Show on Aug. 4 for operating a fundraiser without a temporary food establishment permit.
The Petersons were issued $170 in fines immediately prior to selling hamburgers; $100 for not having the permit, $45 to get the permit and $25 in late fees for not getting the permit two weeks in advance. Justin’s father, Larry Peterson, said they did have food handler’s cards and were not found to be in violation for proper food handling.
The Petersons raised $1,100 in profits that day from selling wristbands and hamburgers and the fine would have been about 20 percent of their proceeds. However, Dave Windom administrator at the Northeast Tri-County Health District, told KREM 2 News that board members have agreed to pay the fine to support a good cause.
According to the Temporary Food Establishment application packet from the Health District, the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) requires that vendors, individuals or groups planning to hold or participate in an event, in which food will be served to the public, must obtain a temporary food service permit.
It can be in a mobile unit, in a booth or a permanent kitchen as long as it is no longer than 21 consecutive days.
Next time the Petersons do a similar fundraiser they would get a $22.50 discount on the permit since they qualify as a non-profit.
Peterson said he understands that there are rules and knows it was a legitimate fine, but Justin was pretty down about it especially because they work so hard to keep costs low so that all the money goes toward Honor Flight.
After sending a few emails out to close friends, the story spread and KREM2 news interviewed Justin about it. The story was then seen on other news sites and Internet blogs within days such as the Huffington Post and New York Daily News.
In result, it raised awareness for Inland Northwest Honor Flight as many people contacted Peterson to offer their support and purchase $5 wristbands.
The Inland Northwest Honor Flight is an organization that sends World War II veterans throughout the region to see their memorial in Washington D.C. They have already sent 475 veterans on flights and only have 140 more to send. It costs $1,000 to send each veteran and about 35 go on each flight of which there are two more scheduled for 2012.
Larry Peterson said once they have completed those flights, they plan to transition to taking veterans from the Korean conflict.
Justin Peterson has raised more than $27,600 since starting his class project fundraiser in 2010. His original goal was $600.
He just attended a picnic for Inland Northwest Honor Flight on Aug. 26 where he presented another check to the organization for $1,645 and sold another $485 in wristbands.
Contact Peterson on his Facebook page, JP4 Vets, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order wristbands available in half inch and one inch widths for $5 each. $4.49 from each sale goes to Honor Flight.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff