Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

January 29, 2014

Optimists selling 'Avenue of Flags'

By Rob Cox Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG — The Greensburg Optimist Club is holding its annual “Avenue of Flags” drive for the month of February.

Optimist Club president Jane Howard told the Daily News that purchasing a spot among the club’s Avenue of Flags is an excellent way to both show patriotism and to support the young people of Decatur County, which is the group’s primary focus.

“We hold two major fundraisers a year,” Howard said. “Our other big one is our food booth at the Decatur County Fair each year.”

For a payment of $30, Optimist Club volunteers will commemorate six national holidays in 2014 by raising and retrieving a US flag at one of three locations. Participants may have a flag raised at their home, around the Decatur County Courthouse Square or along Lake Santee Drive in Lake Santee.

Volunteers will raise the flags at dawn, Howard explained, and retrieve them at dusk on Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4, Labor Day, Sept. 11 and Veteran’s Day.

For $100, Optimist Club volunteers will raise and lower flags for participants for four years, Howard added.

“The Optimist Club does so much in this community for kids,” she said. “A lot for the community in general.”

In November, for instance, the Optimists donated $1,000 for the new firehouse in Clarksburg.

“We meet every Thursday morning at 6:30,” Howard said. “We recognize a ‘youth of the month’ at all three local high schools. They get their pictures in the paper, a plaque and we donate $100 to the charity of their choice.”

Through its Partners in Education Program, the group also honors one fifth-grade boy and one fifth grade girl each month at Greensburg Elementary School for outstanding leadership. The winners receive a plaque and a $10 gift card. The group also runs oration and essay contests and awards college scholarships to local high school kids.

By participating in the Avenue of Flags Program, Howard said, participants make important statements about both love of community and love of country.