Edmonds Lions Club seeks volunteers for the flag program

Photo courtesy of Edmonds Lions Club

The Edmonds Lions Club is looking for volunteers willing to assist the club’s efforts to place flags in front of local businesses during the holidays.

Since 1990, members of the Edmonds Lions Club have placed the flags in front of local businesses to raise funds. Companies pay an annual fee of $40 per flag, or $120 per four flags per year. Proceeds are used to fund a variety of Lions service projects, including eye exams, eyeglasses and hearing aids for needy adults and children, and college scholarships.

Some former program participants have left the area to be closer to family, and club member Judy Forgey said the Lions could call on volunteers willing to help. A volunteer with a truck “would be a plus”, she added.

According to Forgey, prior to the 1960s the American Legion did a smaller version of the flag program, primarily on 5th and Main in downtown Edmonds. This effort eventually ended, but in January 1990 the Lions Club began a new flag program.

“The Lions Club didn’t have any flags, so they ordered 30 flags from the federal government,” Forgey explained. “Wouldn’t you know the flags didn’t arrive in time and the club ended up borrowing flags from Washelli Cemetery in Seattle.

The first year, members unfurled the flags on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the first of 10 holidays to be recognized by the program. At that time, the flags were free. In 1989, the Lions Club began selling flag placement as a fundraiser.

As more businesses asked to be part of the flag program, Lions Club members realized that with all the extra flags being sold, they needed a place to store them. Additionally, they had to purchase materials to drill additional holes and paint to mark areas for new flag customers.

The flags were stored at several different locations in Edmonds until Mayor Larry Naughton approved a request from the club to place a storage shed on the city’s public works property downtown, giving all 331 flags a permanent residence.

Those interested in volunteering for the Lion’s Club Holiday Flag Program should contact Tom Snyder at 425-293-2472.

Charles P. Patton