For the past several years, the Milford Rotary has held a Flags for Heroes event, placing flags in Bicentennial Park in recognition of local heroes. Individuals and businesses are able to dedicate a flag in honor of someone they consider a hero.
“Due to COVID restrictions, we were unable to place the flags in the park,” Gary Downes, Chairman of the event, said. “We decided to place the flags at Genesis Healthcare on the highway in recognition of all they were going through. We didn’t do the dedication plaques, but we did want to recognize those we knew were the unsung heroes of the pandemic.”
Downes explained that plaques, which are donated by Berry Short Funeral Home, are placed at the base of each flag with the name of the person or organization recognized. The plaque can be in honor or in memory of one person, a business or an entire organization.
“We had someone purchase a plaque for the entire fire company,” Downes said. “We place the flags along the walkways and in common areas so it is easy for people to walk through and read all the dedications. We will put the flags up on May 25 and they will stay until June 10. Because we need to get the plaques made, we ask that people put in their requests as early as they can, but we will take them right up until May 25.”
Each plaque costs $50 or businesses can purchase a corporate sponsorship at various levels. A Stars and Strips Level sponsorship is $5,000 and allows the company to dedicate 100 flags while a Blue Level sponsorship is $150 and includes three dedicated flags. There are several sponsorships between those levels as well.
“We have sold 60 of the 300 flags we plan to place in the park,” Downes said. “COVID has made it much more difficult for us to sell the flags. We normally have a booth at the Bug and Bud Festival, but they have cancelled that this year. So many events have already been cancelled that we need to try to get the word out in any way we can.”
Anyone who is interested in dedicating a flag or purchasing a sponsorship can contact Gary Downes by calling 302-745-7697 or contacting any member of the Milford Rotary. Sponsorships and flag dedications can also be completed by visiting the Milford Rotarywebsite and clicking on Flags for Heroes at the top of the page. Scroll down to the bottom of that page to find the sponsorship forms.