For more than five decades, members of Pawhuska’s Alpha Zeta Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha have been displaying Old Glory as part of their flag service project. In addition to traditional holidays, the flags are flown during the annual Cavalcade parade, in observance of the Sept. 11th attack, and the April 19 Oklahoma City bombing.
In April, ESA and Boy Scout Troops 33 and 43 joined together for the flag project. ESA spokewoman Barbara Strahan said, “ESA will continue to collect donations for the flags and the Boy Scout Troops will take on the duty of displaying the flags and bringing them in. Not only with the Boy Scouts have a new community project, ESA will honor each troop with a generous donation. ESA welcomes the Boy Scouts in this joint venture. It is a win-win for all involved!
“Troop members quickly immersed themselves in the flag project. Troop 43 Scout Dave Simpson donated his time and materials to replace damaged flag brackets. Both Troops also plan to begin painting flag poles.
“Flag maintenance is an ongoing project. Our annual fund-raising drive not only helps us maintain the flags but allows us to continue supporting our philanthropic projects. In 2015, we were able to purchase 65 new flags. So far this year, we have purchased 21 new flags. A minimum donation of $10 may be made in honor of or in memory of family members and/or friends.”
ESA’s philanthropic projects include educational sponsorships, such as two $500 PHS Senior Scholarships in 2016 and the Kevin Manering Scholarship, Hearts & Hands, Ministerial Alliance, Help Works, Christ’s Cupboard, Special Olympics, Youth Services, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the annual School Supply Project sponsored by the Methodist Church, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Back Pack Program that sends meals home with elementary students.
During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, ESA donates food gift cards and gifts for needy families. They also provide desserts for many Pawhuska school functions. “Whenever a need arises, ESA members are ready to lend a helping hand, including gas cards for cancer patients,” Strahan said.
For additional information or to make a donation to the ESA Flag Project, please call Linda Boone at 918-287-3711 or Barbara Strahan at 918-287-3926. Donations may be mailed to ESA Flag Project, P. O. Box 1497, Pawhuska, OK 74056.