The Downtown DuBois Revitalization Group will host a Dedication Ceremony for its Hometown Heroes fundraiser project on Sunday at the DuBois Memorial Park on Liberty Boulevard.
Lisa Gabler, a Downtown DuBois board member who is spearheading the effort, said the event will begin at 2 p.m. and those attending will have an opportunity to see the large banners that will be hung in the downtown area. Those who also ordered individual banners will have a chance to pick them up as well.
“It is an honor to recognize our DuBois Hometown Heroes,” said Gabler. “Our military, firefighters, EMTs, police and all who serve this community, past and present, are greatly appreciated. Now we can show them.”
“It will be a nice addition and great accompaniment to the City of DuBois, especially the areas recently renovated with the new light posts,” she said.
Each individual banner is unique and will include the person’s picture, name, branch of service, medallion logo with branch or service, and sponsor’s name. The program is non-political and non-partisan.
The banners will be 18 inches wide and 36 inches high and will be located on street lights throughout the city.
Family members and loved ones were able to purchase a banner themselves or obtain a sponsorship by a local business.
The cost of one banner is $200. And then individuals had the opportunity to purchase smaller, keepsake banners for $14 apiece.
“For the first round, we have a total of 63 banners,” said Gabler. “We’re immediately doing another sale because I think once people see them up, they’ll want them.”
Gabler said the community seems to be excited about the project.
“I kind of felt like we’re behind the ball because so many other communities already do it,” said Gabler. “My family, my husband, John, served 21 years and my brother-in-law just got back from deployment. And it’s something that I thought that our town could absolutely use.”
She said she has really enjoyed working on the project as well.
“I think it’s been a really nice time. Being able to talk to the families about their loved ones, whether it be military or otherwise, the stories that they have to tell,” said Gabler. “We have a Facebook page called DuBois Hometown Heroes, and I’ve compiled a photo album of all the banners and allowed people to share stories. So people can visit the site and look at some of the stories that people have submitted about their loved ones.”
Some of the Hometown Heroes include: John O. Petrucci, U.S. Army, World War II era; Cpl. Cameron Kelly, U.S. Marine Corps, Global War on Terror; Sgt. Brandon Reed, U.S. Army, Global War on Terror, Iraq KIA; Sgt. John M. Noble, U.S. Army, World War II era; LCPL Joshua M. Martino, U.S. Marine Corps, Global War on Terror; SFC Michael Tully, U.S. Army, Global War on Terror, Iraq KIA; Officer Patrick Straub, DuBois City Police Department, five years of service; Officer Edward Kerr, DuBois City Police Department, 24 years of service; Chief Darrell E. Clark, DuBois City Police Department, 37 years of service; and Chief Dick Males, J.E. DuBois #3 Fire Department, 60 years of service.
The dedication ceremony will include speakers, music and light refreshments and be held by the Cherry Amphitheater. In case of inclement weather, it will be held in the American Legion. The public is invited.
Applications for the second banner project are available in the DDRG office at the Parkside Community Center, 120 W. Park Ave., DuBois, or at the Gabler Agency — Farmers Insurance at 21 W. Long Ave., DuBois. They are due by Aug. 31.
Check out the Facebook page at DuBoisHometownHeroes or www.facebook.com/DuBoisHometownHeroes for an online submission form and additional information.
Applications will be accepted through Aug. 31 and will only be processed with a fully completed form, photo, proof of service and a check or money order made payable to: DuBois Renaissance Inc. Please put “Hometown Heroes” in the memo. Banner placement will be solely at the discretion of the City of DuBois.