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"The Rotary Club of Malvern is looking for volunteers to help with the Field of Honor in July" said volunteer coordinator Rev. Wally Anderson. "The Field will be set up in a little over a month, and we need all kinds of volunteers for the five-day event." The Field of Honor, a patriotic display of flags, is being set up beside the Malvern United Methodist Church, 121 W. Wood Street in Malvern from July 12-16. However, there is lots of work required before the opening ceremonies on Wednesday, July 12.
"First of all," said Pastor Anderson, "flags need to be assembled." According to Roger Bartley, coordinator of the Field of Honor, flag parts will be arriving in Malvern at the Damascus Friends Church (site of the former Malvern High School) on Saturday, July 8, or Monday, July 10. "We need to attach the flags to the poles, then put on the top ball, and add a memorial tag for the dedication," he said. "We hope to have over 400 flags sold by that time, so it's going to be quite an operation."
On Wednesday the flags will be processed in a parade from the New Gym at the Damascus Friends Church down West Main Street, then up Plain Street and across the street to the field where they will be displayed. Rev. Anderson recently talked to the Malvern City Council to obtain permission for the procession. The city will block off the streets for up to an hour to allow safe passage for flags. "Many people think the streets are going to be closed for the week, according to the report in the paper," said Rev. Anderson, "but it's just for the hour of the processional. However, we still need people to help process the flags up to the site." Members of the Malvern American Legion Post 375, Scout troop 155, and the Girl Scouts have been contacted to help.
The Field is being laid out by David Bodo Surveying. Flags will be laid out 10 feet from each other in rows 10 feet apart. Rebar will be driven into the ground and the flagpoles will placed on them. People looking for the flag dedicated to their loved one, veteran, or hero will be able to locate their flag in a book at an information booth set up at the entrance to the Field. Lights provided by Grady Rentals of Carrollton will light the Field each night. "Volunteers are needed to man the Information Booth and to sit at the Field throughout the night," said Rev. Anderson.
"Right now we are looking for sponsors to support the program as well as people to buy flags," said Roger Bartley. Brochures have been placed at area places of business for people to fill out and mail in. Letters were sent to over 400 area businesses and organizations inviting their support. Sponsorships from $100 to $2,500 are being sought, and sponsors receive a number of free flags for their support. Individual flags can be purchased for $30, and the purchaser will receive the flag, flag pole, and rebar for mounting and displaying the flag in their yard after the event. If donors wish to have a flag mailed to the person they are dedicating it to, the cost is an additional $10 for mailing.
More information about the event is available online at www.HealingField.org/Malvern17, or they can send their application and check made out to "The Malvern Rotary" at the Rotary Club of Malvern, P.O. Box 504, Malvern, OH. People can also telephone Rev. Wally Anderson, 330-704-4086 to volunteer to help. "Look for the signs posted around town", said Rev. Anderson.