Those who traveled throughout Highland on Memorial Day and Flag Day may have noticed numerous side streets lined with American flags.
The flags are a part of a new fundraising effort driven by the Highland Optimist Club called the “Avenue of Flags.” The club is inviting the community to promote patriotism and support local youth by participating in the program.
“Avenue of Flags” subscriptions cost $40 for a full year, which buys a homeowner a 3-by-5-foot flag on a pole for their front lawn on five federal holidays: Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Veterans Day. A club member will deliver the flag at dawn and retrieve it at dusk. The fee also ensures the Optimist Club will be responsible for the replacement of any flag that is stolen, soiled or damaged during the subscription term.
“Presently, the club has sold over 200 flags for homes in Highland,” said Kevin Hemann, Highland Optimist Club secretary. “This is a new project, and the Optimist Clubs plans on expanding this program each year.”
The Optimists are a club that is dedicated to serving youth in the Highland community.
“As always, all Highland Optimist proceeds are dedicated to the youth of our Highland community,” Hemann said.
The program is not to be confused with the Veterans of Foreign War Post 5694’s “Patriotism” flag program, where the Highland post puts out flags at businesses and along public thoroughfares in Highland for all federal holidays.
“Before starting this project, our chairman contacted the VFW, and they had no problem with our program,” Hemann said. “Their flags are put up for businesses, along with the streets, of Highland. Our program would be strictly targeting residential homes and no businesses. We told them we would not approach any businesses.”
Kate Broadhurst from the VFW also said that the post would be very supportive of anything the Optimists would like to do in the community.
“Those guys are really supportive of the VFW,” Broadhusrt said. “They help with our fish fries. They do a lot of things. Those guys do wonders. They really are very supportive of us. They are tremendous.”