Rotary Club of Easton Hosts Eighth Annual Flags for Heroes Awards Luncheon
Updated: May 6, 2020
The Rotary Club of Easton, Maryland hosted it’s eighth annual Flags for Heroes Awards Luncheon on Thursday, November 21st at The Milestone in Easton. Club members were joined by Flags for Heroes sponsors to award more than $50,000 in grants to 16 organizations that honor and support veterans, first responders and those who serve in Talbot County.
Flags for Heroes is an annual event that provides an amazing visual display of American flags throughout the Town of Easton during Memorial Day weekend. Flags are placed at the Talbot County Community Center, Idlewild Park and Black and Decker Field in Easton, Maryland. Flags for Heroes engages the entire community and serves as a reminder of the true meaning of Memorial Day—a time to remember, celebrate, and recognize the heroes that have served and sacrificed for our freedom. The Flags for Heroes display has grown from 500 flags to over 1,000 and has raised more than $350,000.
“When we started Flags for Heroes in 2012, we could have only imagined how this initiative would grow and touch so many members of our community,” said Jackie Wilson, Easton Rotary Flags for Heroes Co-Chair. “From honoring our heroes through the displays of flags to supporting critical programs that serve our local heroes, we are thankful for the support of everyone who makes this possible.”
2019 awardees included the Civil Air Patrol, Easton High School Junior ROTC, Lady Patriots of the Eastern Shore, Talbot Hospice Veteran’s Programs, Mid-Shore Recovering Vets, St. Vincent DePaul, Talbot County Killed In Action War Memorial, Talbot County Sheriff’s Department, Easton Police Department, Easton Volunteer Fire Department, Talbot Paramedic Foundation, For All Seasons Veterans Programming, Operation Open Arms, Richards Memorial Park, Spring Hill Cemetery and the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department.
Several of the grant recipients spoke about the impact Flags for Heroes has on their programs.
Vivian Dodge of Talbot Hospice shared reflections from recent veteran recognition programs Flags for Heroes helps support.
“No matter their age, medical condition, or mentation, duty and service are ingrained in our veterans. During a recent veteran’s event, one of our dementia patients with the inability to comprehend, was able to stand and recite part of the Pledge of Allegiance. We also hosted an intimate veteran recognition ceremony for one of our patients who just days prior had experienced a significant decline in his health, and yet he was able to summon the strength to salute back to his fellow veterans who were honoring him.”
Nancy Gooding and Agnes Blades from the Talbot County Killed in Action War Memorial spoke about their work researching the names and stories of service members from Talbot County who were killed in action in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War. A Flags for Heroes grant kicked-off their fundraising campaign to make this memorial a reality at the Talbot County Courthouse next to the existing Vietnam Memorial.
Talbot County Sheriff, Joe Gamble, shared impact the addition of two new sheriff canines will make to the Department. With five dogs on the force, each shift will have a canine unit attached to it, so that there will be a dog and deputy available at all times to intercept drugs passing through Talbot County and keep them off the streets and away from citizens, especially youth. The Lady Patriots of the Eastern Shore raised the majority of the funds for the fourth dog, and Flags for Heroes helped them meet their goal and then gave additional funds to the Sheriff’s Department to purchase the fifth. Each of the new dogs will be trained in drug detection and missing-person tracking.
Flags for Heroes raises funds through corporate and individual flag sponsorships.
$1,000 sponsors included Aqua Pools & Spa, Dawkins Management, Inc., Lewis Auto Body Shop, LLC, Livingston Septic Services, Inc., Londonderry on the Tred Avon, the Easton Group at Morgan Stanley, Paulson Investment Group, Pixel Print & Post, Preston Automotive Group and Willow Construction.
$500 sponsors included Jack and Nancy Anthony, The Car Pool, Easton Family YMCA, Easton Fit4Life, Ewing, Dietz, Fountain & Kaludis, Tim Kagan, Eugene Maloney, Nagel Farm Service, Inc., National Property Inspections, Paris Foods Corporation, Provident State Bank, Shore United Back and Teddy Bear Fresh Produce LLC.
In addition to corporate sponsors, many individuals sponsored one or more flags in 2019.