From staff reports
What: The Rotary Club of Longview flag program, led by club Fundraising Director Jon Cromer, is the organization’s primary fundraiser. Members, now with assistance from some local Scout groups, place flags at businesses and residences six times a year on patriotic holidays. The service is provided in exchange for an annual subscription fee that residents and businesses pay to the club. On Friday, club members placed 1,730 flags in recognition of Memorial Day, Cromer said. “Which is the most we’ve ever put out,” he said. “We want to grow that. We think we can.”
History: Cromer said the club had begun to develop the program before 9/11, with Labor Day of that year marking the first time the club placed flags around town. This program is something many Rotary Clubs around the country participate in, Cromer said.
Why: “It’s certainly something the community supports and likes,” Cromer said, but the club also likes the program because it promotes patriotism, beautifies the community and honors people who have served in the military and first responders. He said the program generates more than $65,000 each year for the club, 100 percent of which goes to local, domestic and international charitable causes, including programs aimed at: polio eradication; poverty and hunger; literacy; children; human trafficking; backpack nutrition program; the Thanksgiving Food Drive; dictionary program; community grants; students and educators; leadership development; Rotary Youth Leadership Academy; scholarships; Interact Clubs for high school students; clean water; and maternal health.
Information: The program’s subscription fees are: for residences, $75 for the first year (includes installation of in-ground flag mount) and $50 each year after; and for businesses, $100 for the first year (includes in-ground flag mount) and $75 each year after that.
Information: Call (903) 757-1855; email flags@RotaryLongview.org; mail to Rotary Club of Longview; P.O. Box 2241; Longview, TX 75606