(OSKALOOSA, Iowa) – In 2012, the Optimist Club of Oskaloosa began a project of placing flags in city resident’s yard as part of a club project to promote patriotism and help fund the club’s projects. There were 65 flags the first year and participation has grown each year since.
The Optimist Club kicked off its 2018 campaign this past week and hopes the project continues to grow.
“The project has been wonderful for our city and club,” says RD Keep, secretary-treasurer of the club. “We have been able to support many community activities such as events at the George Daily Auditorium, Oskaloosa Middle School PBIS program, public library programs and movies for kids. We have been able to partner with the Oskaloosa Shooting Team to assist them with their activities and in return they help us place the flags.”
As the project grows, so does the list of things it helps to contribute to.
“It is all about promoting patriotism in our town and allowing us to give back to our community,” adds Katelynn Nimtz, Optimist Club president. “We are looking at a large project in conjunction with the new Mahaska County Environmental Learning Center.”
Project details are simple. For an annual fee, the Optimists will place a tube that juts up just above the ground (but easily mowed over) in the public right-of-way approximately four feet from the curb or edge of the road. On five holidays, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veteran’s Day, the flags go up at sunup and are taken down just before dusk.
“We use a cotton cloth flag attached to a 10-foot standard that is inserted into the tube,” explains Keep. “It is most impressive when several flags are fluttering in the breeze in a neighborhood. Edmundson Drive, 15th Avenue West and Westfield Drive have nearly 40 flags each time. We also have the Elmhurst Housing development with all participants. It is quite a sight to see.”
The Optimists will be at Penn Central Mall this Sunday during the “Experience Mahaska” event and residents may renew or sign up at the event between 1–4 PM.
Keep says that anyone interested in the placing a flag in their yard could contact him at 641-673-0123 to learn more.
“We hope more residents will join us this year,” he concludes. “We live in a great country and should celebrate our freedom – and what better way than to display a flag?”
-The information in this article was provided in a news release from the Oskaloosa Optimist Club.