Last year, Boardman Rotary began a new program called fly the flag. It continues this year as the club reaches out to the community.
The flag the flag program is modeled after a similar one that has proven successful in Canfield. Residents and businesses pay a $35 fee and Rotarians place a metal pipe in the ground below the sod level, and then place a sturdy flag pole and flag in it for six patriotic holidays. Proceeds from the program are used to support a wide array of community programs.
Boardman Rotarian Ryan Cuffle said the new program will help Rotary bring in more funds so the club can help local organizations.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Bob Mastriana, Jim Rosa, Steve Davenport, Josh Hiznay, Deborah Liptak, Ryan Cuffle of Boardman Rotary, Mike Kocjancic, and George Grim plant flags at the intersection of U.S. 224 and Market Street as a partnership between Boardman Rotary and the Boardman Community Foundation to bring awareness to the center of the township.
"We were seeing a decline in the funds we had to give out," Cuffle said.
In an effort to generate more, Boardman Rotary decided to initiate a fly the flag program in the Boardman community. Last year, the program began within the Rotary membership and this year has been opened up to the entire community.
Cuffle said Rotary purchased the metal piping and had to hand drill the first 100 so American flags could be attached. Earlier this year, 500 more were purchased, but the drilling of the holes was much more efficient.
"MCCTC donated their time to drill them," Cuffle said. "The metal shop used it as a lesson on how to set up a manufacturing assembly line to handle mass quantities. They drilled the holes a lot faster than we ever could."
With 500 new flags ready to go, Rotary began putting the word out. An anonymous donor, working through the Boardman Community Foundation, purchased six of the flags and requested they be placed at the center of Boardman, U.S. 224 and Market Street.
Rotarians continue to offer the flags by placing an order form on their web site at boardmanrotary.com. Residents can also call 330-423-4363 to enter the program.
The proceeds will help the club's funds grow again. In Canfield, the program started out like Boardman's with 100 flags the first year. In year two it grew to 500 and this year has exceeded the 1,100 mark.
The flags are put up for Memorial Day and left up for Flag Day and the Fourth of July. They are then taken down until Labor Day when they are placed and left for Patriot Day on Sept. 11. The flags are placed one more time for Veterans Day, and then are stored until the following year.
The funds from the flag program will go into the pot along with proceeds from the Pancake Breakfast and Oktoberfest. Then 100 percent of the money will be issued to local charities such as the food bank, Angels for Easter Seals, the coat program with Head Start, the library, Beatitude House, Boardman Park, Boy Scouts, Salvation Army and Mission of Love.
Boardman Rotary also gives out four scholarships each year to local graduating seniors.
"All the money goes back into the community," Cuffle said. "The program is a great way to show American pride and support the community at the same time."