Flags waving over Bellevue help support community development
In a moving display of patriotism, more than 400 Bellevue residents and businesses are supporting the Bellevue Lions Club’s “Raise the Flag” program. On Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veteran’s Day, the flags line approximately 10 miles of city streets in Bellevue with waving flags. The project is making an impact both visually and charitably.
Individuals purchase annual flag subscriptions, and profit supports the Lions Club’s charitable projects. “The proceeds raised through this project are returned 100% to the community, helping to fund such things as KidSight Vision Screenings for elementary students, annual scholarships for graduating seniors, and diabetes prevention and awareness,” says Gabrielle Recker, Lions Club member. “Our goal is to increase our flag subscription and allow other organizations in the Bellevue area to assist with the project as a means of fundraising for their causes.”
Lions Club members dedicate about 60 person-hours to displaying the flags each holiday, with 15-20 volunteers helping put them up and take them down. The club is dedicated to supporting the community and local business, so flags were purchased from the Bellevue American Legion Post, and poles and clips were purchased from Kueter True Value (formerly Lampe True Value). Support from Roeder Brothers Implement, Roeder’s Outdoor Power of Dubuque, and a grant from the Community Foundation of Jackson County provided a storage trailer to keep the flags clean and dry when they are not in use.
“We are super proud of how our members have pulled together to make this happen, and it looks awesome because of all the community support,” says Recker. “We learned that there are groups, such as the Community Foundation of Jackson County, that exist to provide support for organizations such as ours so that we can do more to give back to our community.”
The Community Foundation of Jackson County was established to make a positive impact county-wide by nurturing charitable giving, enriching quality of life and promoting a sense of community now and in the future. “Our mission aligns with the Lions Club’s community spirit,” says Lori Loch, the Foundation’s executive director. “We are excited that supporting this program will spark the success of other local projects because of the Lions Club’s own commitment to giving back.”
The Bellevue Lions Club is intentional about finding ways to make a positive impact in the community and meet local needs, whether through donations or volunteering. The Club recently made a gift to Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an emerging nonprofit that provides handmade beds to children who do not have beds of their own.
“It’s beautiful to see those flags waving along the river front, and it's neat because they’re throughout town too,” says Recker. “Originally the plan was to follow the Heritage Days parade route. It became apparent that people wanted this in their yards too, so it’s grown into the neighborhoods.” Those interested in subscribing can contact Lori Heiar or any Lions Club member for more information.
To learn more about how you can make an impact in your community, contact Lori Loch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-588-2700.