Austintown Rotary is looking at starting a new program in the township called Fly-the-Flag. At last week's meeting, they learned from representatives of Louisville Rotary, who has a successful flag program up and running.
Fly-the-Flag is a way to display patriotism while raising funds for Rotary to use in the community and other projects. Rotarian Gary Reel said the Austintown club only has one major fundraiser each year and the new revenue stream would allow the club to get give more.
''There are lots of needs in Austintown as well as foreign projects Rotary supports,'' he said.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Ken Smith from Louisville Rotary, Austintown President Mark Cole, and Louisville Rotarian Jim Edwards pose after last week's Austintown Rotary meeting. Smith and Edwards were invited to speak on their Fly-the-Flag program, which Austintown Rotary hopes to establish in the township soon. For their time, Smith and Edwards received a book in their name that will be placed in the Austintown Elementary School library.
For information on the project, Ken Smith and Jim Edwards from the Louisville Rotary were invited to attend last week's meeting where they explained how Fly-the-Flag works.
According to the Rotarians, residents will fill out applications to register for the program. A Rotarian will visit the property and insert a metal post in the ground that can be capped off when not in use. Prior to designated holidays, Rotarians will place an American flag on the pole in the resident's yard. Holidays include Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day. The poles will be located near the street.
Shortly after the holiday ends, Rotarians will return and collect the flags and store them until the next holiday. There is an annual fee residents pay for the service, which goes to Rotary to be used for community service and Rotary International programs.
Rotarians will keep the flags in good repair and replace them as they wear. Similar programs have proven successful in Canfield, Salem and Struthers.
''Rotarians are now making the final decisions on how to make this project a success, and details will soon be available to residents,'' Reel said.
According to Reel, the hope is to have approximately 200 flags positioned the first year and will start by targeting a specific neighborhood. In following years the program could expand into more neighborhoods eventually covering the entire township.