FOR the first time since they moved into their building off Highway 285 some 20 years ago, there’s now a United States flag and POW/MIA flag flying high at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley.
As Boogie Romero Jr. said Friday at the flag dedication, when organizations come together to benefit the community, great things happen. In this case it was the Woman’s Citizenship Club of Alamosa and American Legion Dickey Springer Post 113 that made it happen for Boys & Girls Clubs and their leader, Aaron Miltenberger.
“With this being such a prominent space for folks as they’re coming into town and for all of our young people, they thought it was important that we get one out here,” said Miltenberger of the partnership with the Woman’s Citizenship Club of Alamosa.
“The other piece about it,” he said, “was they wanted to make sure we taught flag etiquette to our young people because there aren’t a lot of places that are doing that, and that’s a great role that we can fill. Especially with our other community collaborations. We have the Scouts that meet here weekly and they do a lot of flag etiquette and ceremonies as well so I think it connects to the mission of Boys and Girls Clubs and it connects to the community.”
Theresa Rudder, whose husband, Jack, served as master of ceremonies, said the project initially came about through a conversation she had with Frank “Boogie” Romero Sr. during a summer get-together.
“We were having a party at my house this summer and Boogie said, ‘You know, they don’t have a flag at Boys & Girls Clubs,’” said Rudder in telling the story. “I said, ‘What? They don’t have a flag at Boys & Girls Clubs? Well, we gotta fix that.’
“So I went to my club members, it was during the Fourth of July parade, and we were talking about it and we said, ‘OK, we will contact Aaron Miltenberger at Boys & Girls Clubs and we’ll see what we can do about getting a flag and a flag pole.”
Five months later, Alamosa Mayor Ty Coleman, City Council and American Legion member Charlie Griego, Alamosa County Commissioners Lori Laske and Vern Heersink, American Legion Commander Monty Collins and American Legion members, members of the Woman’s Citizenship Club of Alamosa, and Boys & Girls Clubs members all gathered to witness the raising of the flagpole and the U.S. and POW/MIA flags dedication.
Taps played in the background as Boys & Girls Clubs members and American Legion members stood up the pole. Hands were over hearts, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, and then everybody went inside Boys & Girls Clubs to celebrate with cookies and hot chocolate.
It was a great ceremony on a sunny Friday.
Watch some video from the event: