I am so gratified to see people come together and work for the betterment of our overall community. Here in O’Fallon, we are blessed with many great individuals and groups that are willing to go the extra mile, day in and day out. This is what truly makes O’Fallon the city we all want to call home.
Recently, we had a great example of this with the Hometown Heroes Banner Project. Through the project, anyone can purchase an 18-by-36-inch banner to honor any active duty military member, honorably discharged or retired veterans, or fallen heroes. The banners have a picture of the veteran, as well as their name, rank, branch, era served and years served. They are hung from light poles in downtown O’Fallon. The heavy-duty vinyl banners will hang for nine months, and then when they are taken down, will be returned to the purchaser as a keepsake.
One of our local citizens, Rosemary Furfaro, came to the city with this idea to honor the military, and way to pay for it, but she was unsure where to place the banners. We were able to work with Rosemary to identify city-owned light poles in downtown O’Fallon where the banners could hang, and put her in touch with other groups that could help bring her dream to life.
The O’Fallon American Legion volunteered to handle the finances for the project. The Legion asked for no pay or compensation, they said that they were just happy to help honor those in the military.
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The city helped Rosemary publicize her idea, and our local newspapers, the O’Fallon Progress and O’Fallon Weekly both published articles that helped advertise the program.
A local marketing firm, The Fource Group, was selected by Rosemary to create the banners. They did a great job designing and printing the banners, and when modifications needed to be made after printing, they agreed to do the extra work at no additional cost.
Finally, DeMond Signs volunteered to put them up, free of charge. When the banners were delayed, DeMond Signs altered their schedule and dispatched additional crews to hang the banners, and never asked for payment.
This project was a great example of what can be accomplished as long as we continue to have passionate volunteers that are willing to work together for the betterment of our overall community.
I purchased a banner in honor of my father, Sgt. Herbert Roach Sr., Rosemary and the volunteers surprised me by hanging it right in front of City Hall. Now, I can see it every day when I am coming and going from downtown O’Fallon.
The Hometown Heroes Banner Project is already taking applications for next year’s banners. To inquire about next year’s banners, email OFallonHometownHeroes@yahoo.com or visit hometownheroesil.com/.
As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.