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Let it fly, NL

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY— Last year the Optimist Club of North Liberty lined streets in town with 77 American flags to celebrate five key national holidays. For 2012, they would like to increase the visual display of patriotism with a goal of at least 150 by Memorial Day.
Sam O’Brien started the “Avenue of Flags” project in 2011 for his Eagle Scout project. Subscriptions were sold to people desiring to have Old Glory displayed. O’Brien then coordinated making up flag sets, marking and mapping the residences and businesses, and coordinating with Iowa One Call. Crews made up of Scouts and Optimists were out and about early on the holiday mornings, placing the flags. Those same crews retrieved, rolled up and stored the flags at the end of the day.
The Optimists and Scouts are continuing what O’Brien started. For $40 per year, they will place a receptacle in your yard (after checking for underground utilities through Iowa One Call), which remains year-round. On Memorial Day (May 28), Flag Day (June 14), Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day (Sept. 3) and Veterans Day (Nov. 11), crews will place 3’x 5’ nylon flags on a ten-foot pole into the receptacle at dawn for display until dusk. Club members and Scouts volunteer their time to place and return the flags.
Spokesman Steve Smith said the group had three or four concentrated areas last year, particularly along Fox Run Drive and Saint Andrews Drive.
“Otherwise, they are spread out in pockets of five to six flags with some areas with one or two,” he said. Smith also said the club hopes to target specific avenues such as North Dubuque and Front streets.
The Optimists are the Charter Club for Boy Scouts of America Troop 216 and Cub Scout Pack 216 in North Liberty, and will split the subscription fee with the Scouts. The Optimist Club of North Liberty uses all its proceeds from fundraisers in support of the youth of North Liberty.
For further information or to subscribe, contact Darlene Smith, 347 Fox Run Drive, North Liberty, IA 52317. 319-626-2939.