Celebrate Your Hero

2019 Flags for Heroes, June 14-16, benefitting Semper K9
Friday, June 14: flags go up
Saturday, June 15: 9am, ceremony recognizing those being honored
Sunday, June 16:  flags come down
Deadline for sponsoring a flag: May 31

Do you have a hero in your life? It could be a teacher, firefighter, veteran, or law enforcement officer you look up to, who has done great things for you or for the community.

The Gainesville Haymarket Rotary Club is once again giving those in the area the opportunity to recognize, honor, and celebrate local heroes with its second annual Flags for Heroes event.

Said Terri Aufmuth, president-elect of the Gainesville Haymarket Rotary Club, “This year’s event will be a heartfelt celebration of all the heroes in our lives. Whether military, law enforcement, teachers, firefighters, a family member or neighbor, we invite you to honor a hero in your life by sponsoring a flag in their honor.”  

By sponsoring a flag for your hero, you not only honor and celebrate that individual, you support a cause doing vital and important work for our local veterans. Semper K9, a local non-profit that trains and provides service dogs free to combat veterans, is this year’s beneficiary.

Said Kelvin Valdez, a married father of three who spent nearly 18 years in the Marines serving our country, “Having a service dog has allowed me to become more social and given me the ability to be in a large crowed area without feeling that heavy load of anxiety building up in me. It has also helped me a lot with my mood swings which in turn has positively increased my involvement with my family and friends.”

This year’s Flags for Heroes will be held Flag Day weekend, June 14–16 in Haymarket Community Park. The flags will be erected on Friday June 14, and the ceremony for those being honored will be held on Saturday, June 15 at 9:00 a.m. The flags will come down on June 16 and for the duration of their display will be lit overnight.

Local organizations participating in the ceremony include the children’s choir from Haymarket Baptist Preschool, and Boy Scout troop 1882. Jarreau Williams, a popular local performer, will sing the National Anthem. Local dignitaries will be present to recognize and honor heroes.

Said Aufmuth, “Flags for Heroes would not be possible without the support and assistance from the Town of Haymarket. The mayor and town council participate, and the Haymarket Police Department monitors the flags overnight and provides support during the event.”

Each year, flags with new honorees are displayed. Each flag is adorned with a tag containing the honoree’s name, branch or type of service, and the name of the individual honoring them. The fee to sponsor a flag is $50.

For information on sponsoring a flag for the hero in your life, visit ghrotary.org before May 31, and click on Flags for Heroes. For additional information on Semper K9, visit semperk9.org.  

Frannie Barnes
About Frannie Barnes 42 Articles
Frannie Barnes is a content writer and editor, and the owner of ForWord Communication. She lives in Gainesville with her husband, three active kids, cat, and dog. To contact Frannie, you can e-mail her at franniebarnes@forwordcommunication.com.

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