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Volunteers make flags carried by high school's color guard

October 03, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

BOONSBORO - The next time the Boonsboro High School color guard marches onto the field, spectators might want to pay close attention to the flags being carried by the squad members.

Faced with the prospect of buying 27 new outdoor flags - at an estimated cost of $165 each - a number of parents and other volunteers pitched in to sew flags over the summer.

The effort of the volunteers brought the cost of the flags down to $3 to $5 a flag.

Each flag - composed of a silky lining material and lam - took about four or five hours to complete.

Two mothers led the project - Kathy Vesely and Beth Rockwell - but they stressed that many others contributed their time and talent.

"Sally Poole did the flags before me and her husband, Dick, is a big reason the flags turn out so well," Vesely said.

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He makes big pattern pieces for the flags, enlarging the pieces from Sally's sketches - to scale.

This year, Karen Brightwell and Sally Poole helped with cutting patterns.

Beth Brennan, Lori Hudlow, Sarah Lefler, Monica Pearson, Kim Rotruck, Mary Stephens, Kim Williams and Danielle Wyand worked on hemming the flags.

An instructional aide for 2 1/2 years, Vesely said the outdoor flags usually last only a year, since they get a real workout during the squad's many activities.

And the theme changes each year.

This year, there is a space theme, which requires different colors and patterns from those of previous years' flags.

"We use the old flags for practice," Vesely said.

In the past, new flags have been bought and in some cases, those costs are still being paid off.

Other cost-cutting measures include wrapping the poles, a job that was being handled recently by squad members Olivia Tomsic and Jordan Pitts, both 17-year-old seniors at Boonsboro High School.

Vesely's daughter, April, plays alto saxophone for the band.

But when the band takes the field, Vesely admits she is usually watching the flags more than she is watching her daughter.

"I really loved this because I love to sew," Vesely said. "But it's also fun working with the guard members."

A transplant from Harford County, Md., eight years ago, Vesely and her husband, Keith, have four children ranging in age from 16 to 28. Keith Vesely is in the U.S. Army.

Previously, Vesely said, she tried her hand at sewing guard uniform coats but swears she won't do that again. Vesely said she prefers the flag project.

"I'm already on the list for next year's flags," she said.

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