Corning flagpole

Courtesy photo/Dean Cofer

On Sept. 3 the Master Steve Engler and Secretary Dean Cofer of the Vesper Masonic Lodge in Red Bluff met with Corning Veterans Memorial Hall flagpole fundraising committee members Jerry Lequia and Dean Blankenship to present them with a $10,000 check towards the $20,000 fundraising goal to replace the flagpole and make other critical repairs to the Corning Veterans Memorial Hall. Pictured from left, Engler, Lequia, Blankenship and Cofer.

The fundraising goal to reach $20,000 to replace the dilapidated flagpole at the Corning Veterans Memorial Hall received a $10,000 boost through a donation by the Vesper Masonic Lodge in Red Bluff on Sept. 3.

The critical need for repairs and maintenance at the Corning Veterans Memorial Hall has led a group of local veterans and residents to take action in organizing a fundraiser to replace the property's flagpole.

A banner has been placed in front of the hall showing progress in reaching the fundraiser's goal of $20,000 and with the Mason's donation the committee is close to reaching its aim.

“That is what we need to replace the old wooden pole with a new metal pole,” said Dean Blankenship, a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4218. “We have estimates on what the new pole will cost and are encouraged by the support we have already received from the community.”

Interland Business in Corning donated the banner and other individuals, groups and organizations have given and promised donations, such as the Corning Volunteer Fire Department which hosted a “Help Buy a New Flag Pole” fundraiser dinner.

Blankenship said once the money is raised and the new pole purchased, he is anticipating either the county or volunteers will install the pole.

According to the county's 2020-21 budget documents, funding for the Corning Veterans Memorial Hall comes from the county's general budget for an annual total of $62,315. Of that amount, the total for services and supplies is $48,946 with $2,000 of that going for maintenance of structure/improvements/grounds. Other funds go for such things as salary and wages, communications, household expenses, insurance, maintenance of equipment, office expenses, flag replacement, utilities, special departmental expenses, and a big chunk at $24,000 to professional/special services.

Donations to the fundraiser can be made to the Corning Community Foundation flagpole project at Banner Bank in Corning.


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