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Morning Sun
  • Sunflower Kiwanis Club raises nearly 400 flags

  • Sunflower Kiwanis Club members, along with a few friends, got an early start on Independence Day by getting up before dawn to raise the American flag at homes across Pittsburg.

    “We put out almost 400 flags this year,” said Carole Robb, club flag program chairman.

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  • Sunflower Kiwanis Club members, along with a few friends, got an early start on Independence Day by getting up before dawn to raise the American flag at homes across Pittsburg.
    “We put out almost 400 flags this year,” said Carole Robb, club flag program chairman.
    A main fundraiser for the group, the program was started 2 1/2 years ago.
    “It was a member, Glen McLaren, who had the idea for it,” Robb said.
    For a $30 fee, the club will place a flag pole and three-by five-foot flag in a customer’s yard on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Flag Day and 9/11.
    “We talk to the homeowner about a yard location for the flag, call Dig Safe to be sure there are no problems digging in that location, and mark the spot for the flag pole,” Robb said. “Then people with an auger dig a hole 12 to 16 inches deep and put in a PVC sleeve.”
    Finding the flag pole hole each time can be a challenge, she noted, because grass often grows around the holes and hides them.
    “In the fall we have leaves, and we’ll be out there with leaf rakes trying to find the holes,” added her husband, John Robb.
    The flags are put out as near to sunrise as possible.
    “This Independence Day that was 6:03 or 6:04 a.m.,” Robb said. “We have the city divided into six zones, and each has a Zone chair with a team of  workers. This year it worked out that each team put up about 31flags.”
    The flags and poles are taken down at sunset and are stored until the next holiday.
    “Most of us keep some flags at our homes if we have the space, and the Salvation Army stores the biggest part of them for us,” Robb said.
    “The wonderful thing about this program  is that the homeowner doesn’t have to do a thing but admire the flag,” John Robb said.
    A total of 35 workers helped with the flags this Independence Day. Nancy and Richard Normand came from Arma to volunteer their services, and aren’t even club members.
    “We used to do Kiwanis,” Nancy Normand said. “We can’t do it any more, but it’s a very good organization and does a lot for children, so we still want to help out.”
    Janette Mauk is a member of the Pittsburg Noon Kiwanis Club, but still came out early to put up flags.
    “Getting up at 5:30 a.m. is a little hard, but this is a lot of fun,” Mauk said. “It’s an important project, and it’s great that our two clubs cooperate.”
    This was the first time that club member Hannah Pommier had helped put up flags.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It’s an honor to work together and see the community work together,” Pommier said. “It’s cool to look behind you and see all those flags. I’ll definitely do this again.”
    Projects benefiting children are a priority for the Kiwanis Club.
    “All the money we raise goes to kids here locally,” John Robb said.
    His wife said that the club helps Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Wesley House, Safehouse, the Salvation Army and provides Pittsburg State University scholarships. In addition, Sunflower Kiwanis Club also sponsors the Meadowlark Elementary School K-Kids and the local chapter of the Aktion Club, the only service club for adults with disabilities.
    Anyone wishing information about the flag program may e-mail flags4kids@gmail.com.

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