This Independence Day marked an extra-special occasion for the residents at Lutheran Homes Society’s Luther Ridge Senior Apartments in Oregon.
In mid-afternoon, the residents gathered for a flag-raising ceremony, which was accompanied by a 21-gun salute presented by VFW Post 2984.
The ceremony was a testament to the patriotism and of a group of Luther Ridge residents known as the “Kitchen Chain Gang.”
Since the apartment community opened, the five ladies have been on a mission to get a flagpole for the facility – but it just wasn’t in the budget.
Surprisingly, the realization of their goal began when a tornado tore through the area June 5, 2010. One area hit especially hard was Lake Township, where at the Lake Township Administration
Building, one life was lost, the building was destroyed and the property – including the flagpole – was ravaged.
In the storm’s aftermath, Leo Brenot, who volunteers at Luther Ridge when the residents need help, contacted Lake Township officials to see if the pole could be donated to the senior
The pole, damaged in the storm, would need to be repaired and then installed. The Kitchen Chain Gang, who cook a dinner the second Friday of every month, charging $5 to raise money for “extras” at
the facility, started raising funds for the project.
When enough money had been raised, the flagpole was repaired (residents paid for the parts, Brenot donated his time), and he and his family installed it for free. Brenot also donated a new flag
to the Luther Ridge seniors.
In addition, American Post donated support pipe, Nissen Concrete donted supplies and Luther Ridge supplied the manpower to dig the hole. Gus Costanzo transported the pole to the site.
“The flag-raising was a very emotional moment – we cried the whole time,” said Addie Decker, a member of the Kitchen Chain Gang. “From the minute it was raised, the flag flew proudly over Wheeling
The group is not done yet though. They are still working on getting a concrete patio, a bench, landscaping and a light for the flagpole so the flag can fly all the time – a project they estimate will
cost about $600.
They’ll continue to raise funds through their dinners, however, donations would be greatly appreciated, Decker said.
Anyone wishing to help with the Luther Ridge flagpole project may call Decker at 419-345-0228