To bolster its fundraising efforts, the Georgetown-Millsboro Rotary Club has launched a Flags for Heroes campaign, allowing donors to honor their personal heroes.
"We think this is a great way to honor primarily veterans, but also any hero you have in your heart, such as members of the military, first responders, firefighters and others who have made a difference in your life," said Harriet Smith Windsor, chair of the Rotary Club's Flag Committee.
There are 300 flag sponsorships available, priced at $50 each. The 3-foot by 5-foot flags will be flown for about one week, to include this year's Memorial Day weekend, at three locations – Georgetown's The Circle, Delaware Technical Community College's Owens Campus and the VFW Post 7422 in Millsboro.
The Rotary Club had originally planned to locate all of the flags on The Circle; however in-ground irrigation lines will only allow the flags to be placed on The Circle's exterior, according to Georgetown Town Manager Gene Dvornick.
"I think [the flags] will look pretty crisp out on The Circle and at Delaware Tech," Dvornick said at a recent Georgetown Town Council meeting.
The names of the honored heroes will be published, along with their sponsors' name, in local newspapers and on the Rotary Club's website in May.
Georgetown Mayor Mike Wyatt and Millsboro Mayor Bob Bryan purchased the first two sponsorships this year. Wyatt said his flag will honor his uncle and Bryan's will honor former Delaware Sen. Richard Cordrey.
"[Cordrey] is a veteran and has done so much for Millsboro," Bryan said. "I have a lot of respect and admiration for him."
Windsor said proceeds from the sponsorships will go toward youth programs, scholarships and community projects.
The club is borrowing this fundraiser from its neighbors to the east, The Rotary Club of Lewes-Rehoboth Beach, which held its first Flags for Heroes last year.
"The response was unbelievable," said Larry Fifer, president-elect of The Rotary Club of Lewes-Rehoboth Beach. "It really was a huge success."
Fifer said the club sold all of its 300 flag sponsorships and placed all of the flags on the lawn of Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes. He said the proceeds were used to award two scholarships to Reserve Officers' Training Corps students. The club also used the money to make a contribution to the Lewes Fire Department.
Both clubs are currently selling flag sponsorships. Georgetown and Millsboro residents should call Windsor at (302) 645-0596 or visit www.gmrotary.org. Lewes and Rehoboth Beach residents should visit www.lewes-rehobothrotary.org. Flag sponsorships may also be purchased from any Rotarian.