Benefit golf tournament raises funds for Avenue of Flags

Vincent Marshall
Representatives from Victory Electric presented the Dodge City Veterans Council/Avenue of Flags with a check for $8,069.19. Among them were Mikey Goddard, Victory Electric; Allen Burkhart, president of Avenue of Flags; Roger Jones, Avenue of Flags; Kristin Hughes and Sonya Hughes, daughter and wife of the late Bob Hughes; Charles Sellens, Avenue of Flags; Jerri Whitley, Kyndell Penick, Shane Laws (CEO) and Rob Henry, all of Victory Electric.

The Co-ops Care Charity Golf Tournament was able to give $8,069.19 toward the Dodge City Veterans Council Avenue of Flags at its annual Veterans Day service Nov. 11 at Maple Grove Cemetery

According to Victory Electric, representatives from Victory Electric presented a check with proceeds from the tournament, co-hosted by Victory Electric and Wheatland Electric Cooperatives.

"Giving back to the community is what cooperatives do," said Jerri Whitley, Victory Electric vice president of communications, in a news release. "We couldn’t be more happy to be a part of supporting our local veterans and their families as well as to help build and support strong, happy and healthy communities for our members."

Veterans organizations Dodge City Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American G.I. Forum and the American Legion make up the Dodge City Veterans Council that promotes patriotism, aids less-fortunate veterans and their dependents, promotes harmony among member organizations and observes designated national holidays to honor veterans.

The veterans council manages the Avenue of Flags, the event honoring veterans at Maple Grove Cemetery who maintain the flagpoles at the cemetery, which are dedicated in memory of a veteran.

Currently, funds are being raised to install additional flagpoles for a new cemetery road in honor of veteran and Victory Electric lineman Bob Hughes.

Bob Hughes Boulevard will recognize Hughes for his volunteer service. Upon his retirement in 2009, Hughes was named chairman of the Avenue of Flags.

“We want to thank Victory Electric for their generosity, as well as the individuals, businesses and organizations who either sponsored, donated or participated in the charity golf tournament,” Avenue of Flags President Allen Burkhart said. “It’s clear this is a community that cares about our veterans, and donations like these help us continue to honor our veteran heroes who graciously served our country.”

In addition to new flagpoles, Avenue of Flags is fundraising to install computerized identification systems and equipment for the identification of specific locations for plaques and flag poles for each veteran.

Funds will also be used to purchase and replace local area veterans organizations’ Honor Guard uniforms; purchase a storage shed to house and protect council property and assist with the maintenance of flags, flag poles and council equipment, according to Victory Electric.

The golf tournament took place Aug. 28 and additional proceeds went toward Wheatland Electric Cooperative’s Cram the Van food drive.

“Avenue of Flags is a great organization who supports and honors those who served our country and fought for our freedom,” said Kyndell Penick, Victory Electric manager of key accounts. “We were thankful and honored to have great support from tournament sponsors and many others to help Avenue of Flags fulfill their mission of honoring veterans.”

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