Restoration of flagpole at McKinley Center in Willoughby was ‘obvious’ project – News-Herald
After one year and three months, members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 214, Willoughby, were able to reposition and hoist a new American flag on a 50-foot commercial pole on October 2 at the McKinley Community Outreach Center in Willoughby. .
“Everyone was excited to do this. He’s actually one of our no brains and to see him now it’s awesome, ”said Susan Fratino, president of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 214, Willoughby. “We are a blessed unit because we are truly a family and we are always here to support each other.”
Last year, when she came to McKinley one morning, Beth Morgan noticed that the flag had fallen and her rope was broken.
“I was thinking about what we could do because we had gone weeks without a flag,” said Morgan, executive director of McKinley. “You cannot leave without a flag. I called my friend, Sue (Fratino), and asked her if this was something the American Legion would like to help.
The American Legion has given the McKinley Center a helping hand over the years, proving lunches during the pantry.
“They (American Legion) have the biggest hearts. They raised money through a bake sale to repair the new chain, ”Morgan said. “This building is almost 100 years old, so the original mast before we painted it looked pretty tattered. Agile Sign got involved, but also ended up giving half of the project as a donation. The ball continued to roll and everyone’s hearts were huge. “
When Morgan called Fratino about the flagpole, the American Legion helped without hesitation.
“Yes was the answer. Next thing you know, cookies were made and sold to raise money, and people also donated money, ”Fratino said. “The project was meant to be. We are honored to have been part of this and we are delighted to have been able to help with other projects. We look forward to the future in being able to help McKinley Outreach which does so much. “
Located at 1200 Lost Nation Road, the McKinley Community Outreach Center is a faith-based organization that grew out of an existing outreach program among the less fortunate in western Lake County. In 2011, Willoughby United Methodist Church joined the Body of Christ community and reached an agreement with the Willoughby-Eastlake School District to take over the recently closed McKinley Elementary School.
“The ability to work together was great and as Sue said it was an obvious project to do,” said Diane Woerner, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 214 co-chair and treasurer. “This flag was donated by our post to McKinley and it’s a little bigger, and it’s beautiful.”