For more than 40 years the streets of downtown Pawhuska have been adorned with dozens of U.S. flags in honor of Memorial Day, Flag Day and Veterans Day, among others. Old Glory is flown in observance of the infamous Sept. 11 terrorist attack, on April 19 to honor victims of the Oklahoma City bombing and to welcome Pawhuska visitors during the annual Roundup Club’s Cavalcade.
This service is the result of the dedicated efforts of members of the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA). Last year, ESA launched its first Flag Service fund-raising campaign. All monies raised help defray expenses associated with caring for the flags which allows ESA to continue other philanthropic projects. Although the actual replacement cost for a flag, bracket and pole is around $20, ESA spokesperson Linda Boone said, "Any amount is appreciated. A minimum donation of $10 will go a long way to help with our program." Boone also said donations may be made in honor or memory of a loved one.
Pawhuska’s ESA community-service efforts were recognized during the ESA State Convention in April. The club received first place for 155.46 philanthropic hours donated per member which equated to a total of 2,643 ESA volunteer hours. In addition, ESA gave $11,414.49 in monies and goods back to the Pawhuska community.
ESA sponsors an annual scholarship for a PHS senior, contributes to the Kevin Manering Scholarship, Hearts and Hands, Ministerial Alliance, Help Works, Christ Cupboard, Youth Services, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Senior Citizens Center, American Red Cross and the Back Pack Program, which sends meals home with elementary students.
This past year, ESA donated to the Free School Supply Project sponsored by the Methodist Church and provided gas cards to four cancer patients. In addition, they provided two Thanksgiving gift cards, and adopted two families at Christmas which represented eleven children and adults.
"You and I can make a difference," said Boone.
Flag project donations should be addressed to ESA Flag Service, c/o Linda Boone, 1104 East 11th Street, Pawhuska. For additional information, please contact Boone at 918-287-3711.