Hi-Tec, a janitorial and maintenance company, provides daily housekeeping and laundry services to the veterans’ home. After learning that high winds had whipped the facility’s 30 by 50 foot flag to tatters, Hi-Tec officials offered to match up to $5,000 donated by veterans groups, other businesses and individuals to purchase a new flag and upgrade the display site.
The total cost of replacing the flag and restoring its environs is expected to be nearly $10,000.
The project would include upgrading the site with handicap accessibility, plus lighting, landscaping, new rigging and cable.
Administrators at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans initially contacted nearly 1,000 veterans’ groups throughout Michigan, asking for their support, but due to the soft economy, many of these groups also are strapped for cash.
“As soon as we heard that the veterans’ home needed a new flag, we wanted to do something,” said Stephan Lemmon, Hi-Tec chairman and also a Vietnam veteran.
“It’s sad to think that veterans who have served our country so loyally would be without an American flag, a symbol of the freedom they defended,” he said. “We know that it means a lot to the residents of the home and people in the community who drive by the facility.”
He said many HI-Tec employees already have stepped forward with personal contributions.
“Our employees, especially those who serve the veterans at the facility every day, are very enthusiastic about this project,” said Lemmon.
“The response has been heart-warming and we are shooting for 100 percent participation throughout the company. We challenge the rest of the community to join us. We will match every dollar given until the goal is met.”
Hi-Tec and Grand Rapids Home for Veterans officials hope to have the campaign complete by Nov. 11 so that the new flag display can be dedicated on Veteran’s Day.
To make a donation to the flag campaign, contact Tom Armock at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, 364-5416, or mail a contribution to Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Volunteer Office, 3000 Monroe Ave., Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
All contributions are tax-deductible and checks should be made payable to Grand Rapids Home for Veterans-Flag Project.