Student's Project Honors Veterans

A banner that honors Edwin R. Henning, a World War II veteran who served in the Army from 1942-45, is just one of 70 banners that are hung or will be hung throughout Spring and Main streets in St. Marys as part of a Girl Scouts project from Rebecca Dominguez, a junior from Memorial High School.
Managing Editor

As part of her Gold Award project, a Memorial High School junior is honoring those who have served the country.

Rebecca Dominguez — a member of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio — spearheaded a project of placing banners that hang on light poles downtown with pictures of local veterans who have served in the military on them. The banners started getting hung last week with more being hung this week.

The idea stemmed from Dominguez’s Silver Award project where she delivered painted wooden pallets to veterans and she wanted to keep the theme of veterans going.

The goal was originally to have the around 24 to 30 veterans banners up throughout downtown St. Marys on Spring and Main streets year round until they needed to be replaced. Dominguez’s adviser, Barb Lutz, said she believed there were 40 banners on Main and 30 banners on Spring streets. However, the project has blossomed into something bigger. 

The project costs just under $1,500 but the project costs actually doubled with Dominguez now having 70 banners on hand, with more possibly on the way.

“She got such a good response from it that the initial amount of 30 to 35 banners doubled and there are still people who are still entering in photos and information,” Lutz said. “This is an ongoing project.”

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award and the most difficult to earn, according to the Girl Scouts’ website.

Once the 70 banners — which are currently up — are to the point where they are worn and need replaced, they will be replaced with new veterans on them.

In order for the project to begin Dominguez had to put together a 10-minute presentation in front of the Girl Scout Council in Lima, explaining what her project was going to be about.

After she was approved, Dominguez said she had to put together a budget then talked to the St. Marys VFW Post #9289 and the American Legion about the project — in which both organizations sponsored her project.

Dominguez said she had been working on the project since June and said the most tedious part of the was getting all the veteran’s information.

“It was not too bad once I had all of the information,” she added. “They look cool and I think it will look cool on Nov. 10; I am going to have a ceremony.”

The ceremony Dominguez will be hosting will take place at 11 a.m. at the gazebo at Memorial Park with the color guard and St. Marys Mayor Pat McGowan present to dedicate the first 70 veterans’ banners that have been hung. As part of the ceremony, those in attendance will be able to walk downtown to see the different banners. Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony, which is also on the same day as the city’s Holiday Open House.

Those interested in reaching Lutz or Dominguez with regard to sending veteran information — such the name, a picture and information regarding years of service and what branch of the military served — to be put on a banner, contact the “Honoring Hometown Heroes, St. Marys, OH” Facebook Page. People can also buy their own banners for $60.

To read the full story, grab Thursday's print edition of The Evening Leader.