The Sedalia Kiwanis Club introduced the Sedalia community to the concept of “Avenue of Flags” during a ceremony held on the State Fair Community College campus at noon Thursday.

For five patriotic holidays throughout the year, Kiwanis Club members will come to a home or business that has prepaid an annual $55 fee, and display an American flag.

Kiwanis will then take down the flag after the holiday is over and store it until the next patriotic holiday. Those holidays include Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, 911 and Veterans Day.

Kiwanis Club President Tom Van Leer emceed the hour-long event, said three flags would cost $150 annually, and 10 or more flags would cost $450 annually.

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Dig Rite will ensure that the installation of each flag is safe and in the right place, Van Leer noted.

“We not only want to raise money for our club here, that goes directly to supporting our community – that's important – but we also really wanted to do some meaningful work for our community, and we like this is a project that we can use to beautify our community, provide a way to bring our neighborhoods together as one and connect our neighborhoods through patriotism, as well as honoring our great nation's flag,” Van Leer said.”

“This is just the beginning, and we definitely got an overwhelming response with who wants a flag … we think that after a couple of days of everybody seeing these flags, there's going to be a bit of peer pressure, so to speak, and patriotism will spark, and I think the response is going to get even bigger here in the next few days with who wants a flag in their front yard,” First Ward Councilman Tom Oldham said.

The idea for Avenue of Flags came about when Past President Gary Beckman was attending a Boys & Girls Club Midwest Leadership Conference in Cincinatti.

“And at the hotel, I just happen to meet this couple next to me. We struck up a conversation, one thing led to another, and we got talking about the Kiwanis Club. They asked me, do you guys do the Avenue of Flags? And I said I have not heard of that. So a conversation ensued and thought that would be something that would work very well in Sedalia. We're very patriotic and we love Old Glory as much as anybody else. And it took off from there,” Beckman recalled.

A Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony concluded the event.

The Sedalia Kiwanis then provided hot dogs and chips to those attending the ceremony on one of the hottest days of the year so far.

Members of Smith-Cotton JROTC posted the colors.

For more information on Avenue of Flags, call Van Leer at (314) 803-4109.

Avenie of Flags

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