Group promotes flying the red, white and blueSubmitted photo Bobbie Barsness-Traynor and Patrick Traynor, both with the River Falls Area Optimist Club, demonstrate how the American flag will look when posted on the lawns of those who subscribe to the club’s yearly flag-flying project. The Optimists fund local scholarships and youth activities. An Optimist Club in Richfield, Minn., has had success with a similar flag-flying fundraiser for years.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
How would you like to have the American flag set up and proudly flying outside your house on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day, parade day of River Falls Day and possibly other suitable occasions?
The newly formed River Falls Area Optimist Club can make it happen.
“I just think it’s a very patriotic way to make our neighborhoods look extra nice for special holidays,” said local Optimist Mary Bednarowski. “And the money we make will go toward youth in River Falls.”
Bednarowski said the River Falls Optimists hope to give some money to the city’s Parks and Recreation summer programs.
The project calls for U.S. flags to be placed in front yards (between street and sidewalk) of subscribing residents by Optimist Club members.
Group members will also install below-ground receptacles, a nine-foot pole, and attach a three-by-five foot American flag for flying.
Flag and poles will be up from roughly 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on days listed above.
Optimist Club members will remove and store the flags and poles when not in use.
“Let us do the work,” said Erin Tomlinson, another member of the River Falls Optimists, who added that rural residents can also subscribe.
The cost for this service is $35 and applies for one year.
After covering costs for flag and equipment purchases, proceeds from this project go to support programs benefiting local children.
For those wanting to subscribe for a year’s worth of holiday flag postings, call Tom or Mary Bednarowski at 715-425-8000 or Patrick Traynor at 715-222-9143.
“I feel that a flag project would allow all people -- Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers, and Independents -- a chance to show their patriotism,” Tom Bednarowski said. “What a sight it would be to see flags flying on those six or seven days a year, up and down the streets of our community; a nice way to bring everyone together on these patriotic days.”
Mary Bednarowski said Optimist members will also go door-to-door with brochures in various neighborhoods to interest people in the flag project.
Those brochures will also be available at the Chamber of Commerce’s office, 214 N. Main
St., and at some local banks.
Said Tomlinson about the flag project: “I’m proud to be a part of this U.S. of A., and I don’t mind showing my patriotism. I’m sure other people in River Falls will feel the same.”
Tomlinson said the flag project represents a determined effort by the local Optimist Club to fulfill its motto of helping the community’s children.
Formed just nine months ago, the River Falls Area Optimist Club has 30 members.
Club meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Crossing by GrandStay Inn & Suites, 1525 Commerce Court, and the fourth Thursday noon of each month at Bo’s ’N Mine, 110 S. Main St.