Until recently, the flagpole outside the old Ladysmith Elementary School, which houses Miss Alyson’s Daycare, stood bare for several years due to lack of replacement parts and personnel to scale the height.
But a recent group effort involving a vocal veteran, teachers, a maintenance supervisor and two lineworkers from Rappahannock Electric Cooperative changed all that—and now the Stars and Stripes are flying proudly outside the Caroline County, Virginia, school building.
“If there’s a need in the community and we get a request, we go out and try to help, whether it’s a cat in a tree or a light on a ballfield,” said Trey Roberts, an apprentice lineman at REC.
The staff at Miss Alyson’s Daycare in Ruther Glen had long wanted to hang a flag on the pole “that had been there since forever,” said Julie Moore, its director. But they didn’t have a way to reach the top of the 20- to 25-foot high pole.
Meanwhile, a local veteran, a vendor at a weekly farmer’s market at the school, had approached daycare owner Alyson Beverly and Chris Caldwell, the school’s maintenance supervisor, about wanting to see a flag atop the pole. “I felt for the guy; I know where he’s coming from,” said Caldwell, a veteran himself.
Beverly, a longtime presence in the community, called REC for help, said Moore. The co-op sent out Roberts and now-retired line foreman, Todd Tignor, with a bucket truck and rope to run the flag up the pole. Billy Holland, a groundskeeper foreman for the county, joined the REC team to provide guidance on how to run the rope and display the flag.
The co-op “has always been a good partner in the community, providing batteries and smoke detectors to the elderly or hats and lanterns for our Littles,” said Moore.
For REC, community service is all in a day’s work. “We’ve been doing this long before I came to the co-op,” said Roberts. “The co-op is part of the community and made up by those we serve.”
Victoria A. Rocha is a staff writer for NRECA.