Gratiot raises Old Glory
Published June 11, 2013
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Nearly 100 American flags will line Gratiot this summer through a patriotic service project put on by the Kiwanis Club of Clinton Valley.
This is the first year for the program, which allows businesses along the two-and-a-half mile strip of Gratiot in Clinton Township to participate for $50.
In exchange, Kiwanis members will provide and install 10-foot flagpoles bearing 3-by-5-foot American flags in front of the businesses for six weeks out of the summer: around Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veterans Day and the Clinton Township Gratiot Cruise on Aug. 4.
“It’s been such an awesome program that benefits and honors our country and our veterans, and benefits the kids in our community,” said Paula Richards, a Kiwanis Club member heading the flag program.
Nearly all of the proceeds are being donated by the Kiwanis Club to programs benefitting Macomb County youth. The dollars will go to a Macomb Intermediate School District education project for homeless youth, Play Place for Autistic Children, Kids on the Go, the Key Club of Clintondale High School and the Builders Club of Richards Middle School. The remainder will go to national Kiwanis projects.
As of Memorial Day, May 27, 22 businesses along the strip displayed 72 flags. The Clinton Township Gratiot Downtown Development Authority had purchased another 20 flags, displaying 10 on the Gratiot median at 14 Mile, and the other half at Metropolitan Parkway.
“A number of businesses already fly flags along the corridor, and we thought this would be a great addition to that,” said the DDA’s Joseph Peruzzi. “I doubt if there was any other corridor in metro Detroit that had the American colors so well displayed as we did in Clinton Township.”
Richards said the Kiwanis Club of Clinton Valley purchased the American-made flags through the Veterans Flag Depot, an online flag wholesaler.
For each of the days, the flags are erected by Kiwanis volunteers a few days before the holiday and collected again a few days afterward.
Businesses along Gratiot can sign up for the program by emailing Richards at prichards@mortgage one.com.