Rotary Club planning 24th annual Memorial Way

Apr. 30—DANVILLE — The patriotic image is a proud moment for the community each year as flags line North Vermilion Street in Danville for the Memorial Day holiday.

Memorial Way is marking its 24th year of paying tribute to U.S. military personnel who have died in the performance of their duties. The flags also mourn the loss of all those veterans who have served their country in any of America's armed forces.

The Danville Rotary Club is again seeking sponsorships including from local businesses and residents to remember veterans on Memorial Day weekend by purchasing flags that will line both sides of Danville's Vermilion Street.

"The 24th Annual Danville Rotary Memorial Way project is underway and Rotarians are currently soliciting sponsorships for individual flags and corporate sponsorships of flags," stated Rick Rotramel, chairman of the service project with the Danville Rotary Club.

He continued, "As you know the Danville Rotary places approximately 2,600 sponsored flags on North Vermilion Street from English (First Christian Church and Chittick Eye Care) to Wal-Mart on both sides of the street for Memorial Day weekend. Anyone can sponsor flags by going to Danville Rotary Club Memorial Way — Memorial Way Flag Sales ("

Sponsorship forms are available through Rotramel at 217-898-1405 or

Forms must be completed and returned by May 20. Forms and checks can be sent to Danville Rotary Club, P.O. Box 1441, Danville, IL 61832.

Individual flags can be purchased for $5. Sponsorship levels: Stars level at $100 for 20 flags; Stripes level at $250 for 50 flags and Freedom level is $500 for 100 flags.

Flags include tags of the names of deceased veterans to honor. The card with the flag can note a branch of the military and any awards they received (Purple Heart, Silver Star, etc.). While most flags honor military service personnel, anyone can be recognized, according to Danville Rotary officials.

Part of the proceeds go to the Vermilion County War Museum, the Sparky Songer Scholarship at Danville Area Community College and other veterans causes, such as $1,000 going to Wreaths Across America and the rest goes to the Rotary Club to fund other projects.

This project was started by Sparky Songer, the founder of the War Museum, and Mac Leverenz, a past president of the Rotary Club.

The Danville Rotary Club was founded on Nov. 1, 1915, and has served the Danville area for more than 100 years with the motto "Service Above Self."

Jim Kouzmanoff and others at the Vermilion County War Museum organize the flags for the club to place along Vermilion Street. Rotramel and Emily Duncan, Danville Rotary Club president, organize the Rotary Club members and teams for flag placement the Friday before Memorial Day. Memorial Day is May 27.

Organizers say the project has been a Success for 24 years because of the dedicated Rotary members and participating sponsors.

The club meets at noon on Mondays at the Fischer Theatre, 158 N. Vermilion St., in Danville. For more information, visit the club's Facebook page.