Perry Lions and Optimist International clubs raise flags around Perry

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Perry Optimists Larry Blaker, left, and Dr. Randy McCaulley, president of the Perry chapter of the Optimist International Club, raised flags along Willis Avenue this morning in the yards of homeowners taking part in the holiday flag service. Perry residents interested in having a U.S. Flag raised in their yards for Independence Day, July 4, should call 515-240-7281.

Members of the Perry Lions Club and the Perry Optimist International Club were out early this morning, Memorial day, raising flags in yards around Perry in a project aiming to line the city’s streets with U.S. Flags five times a year on national holidays.

Property owners along Willis Avenue, both homes and businesses, will be visited by volunteers from the two Perry civic groups over the next few weeks as they roll out the Holiday Flag Program.

“Response was good for our first year,” said Dave Wright, president of the Perry Lions. he said about 200 flags were flag services were sold around Perry. “We were concentrating on Willis and First Avenue for the first time out,” Wright said, “but a lot of other homeowners on other streets are participating.”

Wright said the holiday-flag idea was borrowed from other service clubs that do flag service projects, such as the Adel Lions Club.

Dr. Randy McCaulley, president of the Optimists, was also pleased at the first-year response.

“We think this a great way for people both to make Perry a more beautiful city on the holidays and show our love for our country,” McCaulley said. “It’s a little rainy, but that’s okay. We will take the flags down at sunset and be back out planting them on Independence Day.”

For a $25 annual donation from the property owners, the Lions and Optimists will raise a three-by-five-foot U.S. Flag in owners’ yards five times each year: on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day and Labor Day.

The flags are being placed in front of the home or business on the inner side of the sidewalk (the house side, not the street side of the sidewalk). If a property has no sidewalk, the flag is placed where a sidewalk would be.

Utility locators determined, at no cost to the property owner, the safest spot in each yard for the flag, and a temporary flag holder will be placed there. This national holiday marks the first time the flags have been raised by volunteers from the Lions and Optimist clubs.

The clubs’ goal was to sell 300 flags the first year, and they are already nearing the goal with this single holiday.

“People will notice some dramatic changes in the complexion of the community,” said Wright.

Proceeds from the joint fundraising project by the Optimists and Lions will be divided and used for community projects sponsored by each club, such as the Perry Lions’ eyeglasses project and the Optimists’ high school scholarships.

"Eternal Vigilance" is the title of this image submitted to ThePerryNews.com by American Legion Post 85 Commander Mike Kelley.
“Eternal Vigilance” is the title of this image submitted to ThePerryNews.com by American Legion Post 85 Commander Mike Kelley.

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