By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DEWITT — On Memorial Day the Knights of Columbus Council 959 kicked off a new fund-raising project which will help benefit many programs that assist people in need within the community and throughout the world.
Joseph Shadle, recorder for the DeWitt Knights, said Saber Avenue of Flags provides homeowners of DeWitt a patriotic opportunity to fly the “Stars and Stripes” in their front yard on six national holidays each year for an annual fee of $45. The holidays are Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Patriot Day and Veterans Day.
Residents will be able to purchase the flag and the Knights will do all the work of installing, removing and storing the flag. Those interested in flying a flag may contact the Knights at (563) 659-9094 for details. Right now the project is available on a limited basis. If all goes well, the goal is to offer flags to all residents of DeWitt.
Shadle said the project originally started with the Youth Sabertooth Wrestling club. They asked the Knights to join the effort. When the flags are purchased, the groups put them up at sunrise and lower them at sunset on the six holidays. “The Knights have arranged their own storage for the flags and poles that they raise for the six holidays,” he said. The next holiday is Flag Day, which is June 14.
The Sabertooth club maintains a section of DeWitt and the Knights maintain a different section. Shadle estimates that both groups are covering less than half the town right now. “We wanted to focus on getting this activity organized and started before we branched out to other areas of DeWitt.”
For Memorial Day 2016, the Knights raised 72 flags. “We had 12 Knights from our council volunteer their time to help for the Memorial Day effort and it took them about two hours to raise the flags and about 1-½ hours to remove them. We feel that as we get more organized in this activity we will be able to raise the flags in an hour to 1-½ hours and remove them in about the same time.”
The DeWitt Council has about 140 men as members, so the membership is large enough to help raise and lower the flags.
“As with all Knights of Columbus fundraising activities,” Shadle said, “we use our council proceeds to help support other organizations and efforts that our council votes to support. The flag effort gave our council the means to support the majority of a donation of $3,000 to our brother Knights’ Clinton council fundraiser. The Clinton council was trying to raise the funds to purchase a new 3D/4D ultrasound machine for the Pregnancy Center in Clinton.”
Shadle said the DeWitt council’s donation put the Clinton Knights over their fundraising goal so that the new machine could be purchased. “Our council will continue to support such worthy efforts with our continual fundraising activities each year.”