Hometown Hero Veteran Banner Project under way

Applications accepted April 17

Submitted story

One of the banners that hung downtown last year.

One of the banners that hung downtown last year.

Courtesy photo

MOUNT GILEAD — The Williamsport Grange #1815 has announced they will be accepting applications for the 2021 Hometown Hero Veteran Banner Project for Morrow County. This is a continuation of the project first announced in 2019.

The banners are designed to pay tribute to the county’s many veterans.

Applications will be accepted in person only on Saturday, April 17 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, while supplies last, at the Williamsport Grange #1815 Hall (Congress Township Hall), 6251 County Road 20, Mount Gilead.

Applications will be supplied at the event, however, if you wish to fill out an application prior to arrival you can download an application from the Village of Mount Gilead website, the Williamsport Grange #1815 Facebook page or you can obtain a paper copy at the Veteran Services Office in Mount Gilead.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this will be a Drive-Thru registration event. Sponsors will remain in their cars and volunteers will come to your car for the application. Our volunteers will be wearing masks for your safety. We ask that you please wear a mask for our safety. This is a First Come, First Served basis. One banner per sponsor. If a family wishes to purchase more than one banner, there must be a different sponsor for each banner represented at the drive-thru event.

In 2019 the Williamsport Grange #1815 was able to accept applications for and display 112 Veteran Banners along Main and High streets in Mount Gilead. They were hung in time for the Victory Shaft Dedication Centennial that was celebrated at the end of September 2019.

The plan was to rehang the 2019 banners and expand the project by adding more brackets and banners in 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted that plan. Being unable to accept new applications for 2020 due to the Coronavirus restrictions the 2019 banners were rehung in 2020.

With the ongoing pandemic, the effort to expand the project has been put on hold however the Grange will be able to accept new applications for 2021. At this time we do not have plans for an in person Veteran Banner Tribute as we did in 2019. We are working with several different entities to possibly provide a virtual event. Details will be made available once finalized.

“We were completely overwhelmed with the popularity of the program in 2019. We had intended to accept applications on two separate evenings over a two hour period each night. Instead applicants started lining up hours ahead of the projected start time. Due to the heat and number of those standing outside, numbers were passed out to those waiting so that those who would not be able to purchase a banner due to the limit being reached, would not have to stand in line any longer than necessary. The banners sold out in under 5 minutes,” said Grange Master Donna Carver.

To adhere to the “First Come First Served” Policy, those who stood in line in 2019 but were unable to apply due to the limit being reached and who also supplied contact information were offered pre-registration for 2021. NO other pre-registration applications will be accepted.

The cost of the brackets to hang the original banners was covered by a generous donation from the Bonecutter Family Trust with additional donations from attorney Andrew Wick, Grange Master Donna Carver and MCJVC Commander Bruce Fissell.

Sponsors can purchase banners to honor veterans who have served in our country’s armed forces. The banners will be two feet wide by four feet long and made of a sturdy vinyl material. They will be hung on Main and High Streets in Mt. Gilead in time for the July 4th Holiday. They will remain hanging until after Veterans Day. The banners will then be cleaned and stored by the Grange and a date set in the spring for sponsors to pick up their banner to take home.

Sponsors may nominate veterans who meet the following criteria: The veteran must be honorably discharged, deceased, must be a graduate of OR have attended a Morrow County High School, OR the Veteran is/was a Morrow County Resident.

Anyone interested in purchasing a banner must attend the sign-up meeting and be able to provide the following information:

• The correct spelling of the veteran’s name.

• The veteran’s branch/branches of service.

• When the veteran served (what war, or if during peace time, what years.)

• A quality hard copy on photo paper of the uniformed veteran on photo paper.

• The sponsor payment is $48.

These photos will not be returned to the sponsor. They will be kept and archived by the Williamsport Grange #1815.

Applications can be found on the Mount Gilead Village website, on the Williamsport Grange #1815 Facebook page or picked up at the Veterans Services Office 143 S. Main St., Mt. Gilead.

If you have any questions about the Hometown Heroes Veterans Banner Project, call Carver at 419-560-8100.

One of the banners that hung downtown last year.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2021/03/web1_Holtrey-banner-hanging.jpgOne of the banners that hung downtown last year. Courtesy photo
Applications accepted April 17

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