Operation Gratitude celebration is May 23

Posted May 16, 2018 at 1:59 pm

On Wednesday, May 23, the Albany Revitalization Committee will be hosting an event to honor active military and all veterans in Clinton County.

The event is titled, Operation Gratitude: Celebrating our Heroes.

The event will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and everyone is invited to attend and wear red, white, and blue.

Christy Nuetzman Guffey, of the Clinton County Extension Office, said the event should be a great event to honors those who have served and those who are still serving the United States in the military.

“It’s a recognition of local veterans and military heroes in current and active duty,” Guffey said. “Our intent is for churches to encourage their congregations to come up and participate with us as well. We are going to do it at night and we want businesses to do the window decoration contest and we want to do a community remembrance slide show.”

Guffey said people can drop off photos of family members who are veterans or in the active duty military at the extension office in order to be placed in the slide show.

“They can even wait while we scan the photos so they don’t have to leave them there,” Guffey said. “They can also email us a photo. We want to include as many people as possible.”

Most of the event will take place around the courthouse. The event will include a bicycle and tricycle parade at 6 p.m. Entries are asked to decorate their bicycles and tricycles with red, white and blue streamers, balloons and American Flags. A winner will be picked from each of the following age groups: under five years old, five to eight years old, nine to 12 years old, 13-17 years old and 18 years old and above.

The winners will be picked based on originality, creativity and spectator appeal.

Guffey said Thomas Oesterreicher will start the event with the singing of the National Anthem

She also said anyone who would like to preform a patriotic song, please contact the extension office.

Also on display at the courthouse will be posters that have been made by students at the Early Childhood Center as well as those from Albany Elementary School.

Winners of the contest will be displayed inside the courthouse during the event.

“We have those winners selected and they should be up this week and will remain up inside the courthouse until the end of the month,” Guffey said.

In the Foothills Festival parking lot, Guffey said there will have inflatables for the kids, but those times are yet to be determined.

“The Foothills Festival Committee is doing what we would call an All American meal, which is hot dogs, chips and those kinds of things. First and Farmers Bank is providing lemonade and all of that will be around the festival building on a first come, first served basis. We really wanted to use this as a starting point to kind of think about some things we can add on through the revitalization committee.”

This event will also be tied into the banners the Clinton County Tourism Board has been working on the past several months which should be hung soon and will honor veterans.

Banners will be hung on light poles around Albany and will remain up until close to Foothills Festival time.

“Those banners will be up close to the same time,” Guffey said. “We will have reserved seating for veterans and active duty military people, but it will be a kind of bring your own lawn chair type of event.”

The veteran and active duty honor walk will begin at 7:30 in front of United Country Land and Lakes Reality office.

“We will really be able to add more to the event by next year, but we want businesses to decorate their windows and we want the churches to come out and use this time as their Wednesday night services,” Guffey said. “We just want to instill a sense of pride in our community and this gives us a chance to honor the past and the present at the same time and hopefully its something we can expand upon. There will be a recognition for Murl Conner with the Medal of Honor and to think about what it might mean in the future for our community to really recognize the impact folks from this area have made on history.”