ALACHUA COUNTY — Alachua County has been awarded a National Association of Counties Achievement Award for the "Flags For Our Classrooms" campaign. The award will be formally given during the National Association of Counties meeting in Chicago, IL on August 6, 2006. The campaign was carried out by the Alachua County Office of Veterans Services and the Alachua County Veterans Memorial Committee, in cooperation with the School Board of Alachua County, Santa Fe Community College, the University of Florida, and area businesses.
The "Flags For Our Classrooms" campaign began in response to the Florida Legislature passing an unfunded mandate that every classroom in Florida must display a 2’x 3’ U.S. flag. Jim McCawley, then chairman of the Alachua County Veterans Memorial Committee, and Jim Lynch, Director of Alachua County Veterans Services, coordinated the effort to count the number of Alachua County classrooms that needed flags, and to raise funds to purchase those flags. Volunteers from the Veterans Memorial Committee raised over $13,000 in just a few months. As a result, Alachua County was the first county in the state to raise necessary funding to purchase a flag for every classroom in the county school system. They even raised enough funds to provide flags for every classroom in Santa Fe Community College and the University of Florida.
Additionally, they furnished screws and mounting brackets to mount the flags, and flags were delivered and installed in presentations conducted by area veterans representing WW II all the way through the Iraq War, well in advance of the mandated date of July 1st, 2004. Over 2,800 County classrooms received flags. And enough funds have been secured and invested for the Veterans Memorial Committee to be able to provide new flags for any future classroom construction or replace flags as needed.
Alachua County Veterans Memorial Committee is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.