By McKenna MIDDLETON
This Memorial Day, the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada-AM will honor veterans by kicking off its “Fly a Flag for a Veteran” event.
The five-foot-by-three-foot flags will fly on an eight-foot pole at local businesses and homes. Kiwanis members will set up these flags each Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Veterans Day for a donation of $100 per year to support veterans.
“I think the biggest thing we’re facing is we have a lot of people that say, ‘We have a lot of flags,’ but you don’t have this flag,” Kiwanis Club member Bob Burlison said. “This flag has been made with the sweat and toil of people who want to help veterans, and [by] veterans themselves. The flags that we’re producing are produced by Kiwanians and veterans, so they’re kind of a specialty item.”
This marks the first year of the “Fly a Flag for a Veteran” event which members hope will become a long-term project and eventually a tradition. It serves as an opportunity to support nationwide veterans financially and to personally connect with veterans in the foothills community.
“The flag is the symbol we’re using to impart our desire to help,” Burlison said. “We have a huge history with it and the stories about where that flag has been are incredible.”
Of the 50 initial flags that the Kiwanis Club has produced so far, 41 have been committed for. The donations have come from retirement homes with a large number of veterans as residents, individual homeowners, and local businesses. One homeowner group in La Cañada purchased 20 flags to line a street that has been dubbed “the lane of honor.”
The proceeds from the Fly a Flag for a Veteran event will support Montrose American Legion Post 288, Veterans Village in Glendale, other veterans groups, and individual veterans in need.
“Part of this is to get club members involved so they feel like they’re doing something worthwhile,” Kiwanis Club member Tom Petersmeyer said.
The Kiwanis Club of La Cañada-AM will add to the donations from “Fly a Flag for a Veteran” with two more events scheduled for later this year, including a motorcycle ride from the Dream Catchers Kiwanis Club of Payson, Arizona to the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City, Nevada, as well as a concert in La Cañada featuring the Shirelles. Each fundraiser will serve the same purpose: to support veterans and their families.
“It’s special and something we think has a lot of patriotism in it and a lot of purpose,” Burlison said.
For questions, contact Bob Burlison at email@example.com or fax