South Wheeling Preservation Alliance's American flag program is up and running, but members are hoping for more participants to help dress up the neighborhood on holidays such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
To date, about 20 flags have been purchased by people in honor of their loved ones. With each flag comes the engraving of the loved one's name on a brass plate that can be attached to a wooden plaque inside either Trinity Lutheran Church or the alliance's future office space at 3501 Jacob St.
The latest round of flags were installed on poles on Chapline and Jacob streets to decorate the neighborhood for Memorial Day weekend.
South Wheeling resident Ginger Kabala said the flags are made in the USA. She said since the flags sometimes become damaged because of the wind, the main recognition for loved ones is the brass plate.
"South Wheeling has its own personality. We don't want to be like everyone else. We're not trying to compete (with other neighborhoods), it's just because so many of our people were in the wars. ... And it seems like everyone is from South Wheeling. This is an opportunity to, if someone dies if they are from down here, instead buying a plant a friend can buy a flag in their memory," Kabala said, adding she got the idea for the flags from a similar program in Rural Hill, N.C.
The alliance's future headquarters, 3501 Jacob St., will serve as a gathering place and repository for items related to South Wheeling. Passersby may have noticed sunflower-themed cafe curtains have been installed in the windows there. Trinity Lutheran Church, 3536 Eoff St., will continue to be the location for the alliance's monthly meetings, held at 7:15 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month.
Neighborhood watch meetings are held prior to the alliance at 6:30 p.m.
SWPA is always looking for new members and residents willing to donate time for various projects. The group's officers include Kabala as president; Marist Brother John Byrd, vice president; Jean Fisher, secretary; Mary Kosky, treasurer; Connie Hoge, garden manager; Judy Mealy, media designer; and Mary Rogerson, school liaison.
A grand opening is tentatively planned at the future headquarters that will be situated in a rented portion of businessman Christopher Dean's office.
For more information, email Kabala at maryginger7@yahoo. com or call her at 304-233-8917.