Craig Rotary seeks volunteers, sponsors for 2021 flag fundraiser
For Craig Press
The Craig Rotary Club seeks some brawny volunteers this summer.
Local rotarians last week launched their American flag project for the 15th year to raise funds for childhood literacy.
American flags, sponsored by community businesses, are placed along Victory Way and Yampa Avenue on holidays between Memorial Day and Veterans Day in an effort to help Craig looks its best.
Each flag, supported by PVC pipe and a 60-pound bucket of concrete, is erected at dawn and removed at dusk – an often herculean task, said club president Randy Looper.
“The goal is to line the whole town,” he said. “If we get the same number as the last two years, which is about 160 flags, we make it just past McDonald’s. The ideal number of (volunteers needed) is 8 to 10. If we have that, we can get it done in about half an hour.”
Looper said the Rotary Club based its flag fundraiser on a similar initiative for the Eagle Scouts
created by Lincoln Cleverly with Jackson’s Office Supply. After that program ended in the early 2000s, Rotary took over and implemented a number of changes.
Rather than purchase a flag to hang outside a home or business, sponsors would now buy one to honor Craig.
“It just looks cool,” Looper said. “It’s amazing, particularly with the flags blowing in the wind.”
That same northern Colorado wind forces organizers to get crafty, Looper said. The group uses PVC pipes in place of traditional flag poles to reduce tipping.
“I’ve seen two or three guys get out of their cars and pick flags up on real blustery days,” said county resident Becky Armstrong. “(The flags) really add something, but they can’t be easy to put up and take down in a day.”
In recent years, the Rotary Club has raised $7,000 to $10,000 in flag sponsorships to support its youth literacy programs. This includes a book buddies program to give Moffat County second-graders a new book each month and a passport to reading initiative for elementary school students. Funding also allows Rotary to donate library books, classroom supplies and scholarship awards.
“The majority of our push is literacy in Moffat County and the schools,” Looper said.
This year’s fundraiser is in its infancy; letters to past participants were mailed last week.
“The nice thing about it is people really like it, and they want to support it,” Looper said. “Most of the flags are sponsored from just sending the letters out. Once mid-April comes, we’ll do followups and think creatively about how to get more sponsors.”
Anyone interested in hauling flags or otherwise participating in the program should contact Looper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s quite an operation,” Looper said. “The biggest issue is the 60-pound buckets, because they’re not light. We have some that are a little lighter, and some that are heavier – 90 to 100 pounds.”
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A fire being dubbed “Skull Creek” is active north of U.S Highway 40 about 70 miles west of Craig along the highway, or 60 miles west-southwest as the crow flies.