Early Harvest Concerns Organizers Needing Volunteers

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Volunteers are needed in Wellington where they fear the earlier than usual start to the wheat harvest will cause a shortage of people to raise flags for the Memorial Day weekend.

"A lot of our volunteers are farmers. This is a farming community. With harvest starting, our volunteers are going to be harvesting," said Andy McEntire, co-organizer of the "Avenue of Flags" in Wellington.

McEntire and volunteers have stored away more than 1,100 flags. Each flag represents a veteran who has passed away.

"It just brings tears to your eyes when you're out there and you see all the flags flying and you know each flag is for a person," said McEntire.

Although McEntire is concerned with the number of volunteers who will help, others are not.

"All the years I worked as chairman, we never once went out and campaigned for volunteers. They just showed up, as many as 300," said Thomas Ostrander, who has volunteered every year since 1973.

The World War II veteran said the "Avenue of Flags" is a tradition that will continue because the community respects its veterans.

"I have a deep feeling for the flag, for the country, and for the veterans those flags stand for," said Ostrander. "Every other person has that same feeling that works out here."

Anyone interested in helping should be at the Prairie Lawn Cemetery at 8 a.m. Saturday.

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