‘Hometown Hero’ banners up for 2 more years
Program still capped at 500 banners, with hundreds more on waiting list
LANSDALE >> Decorative banners honoring local veterans look likely to be back for two more years in Lansdale.
Borough resident Anne Henning-Scheuring, organizer of the Hometown Hero banner program, has started the approval process to hang a fresh set of banners around town.
“I’m here tonight to ask for approval for the 2019-20 session of the Lansdale Borough Hometown Hero banner program, with the same limit of 500 banners,” she said.
Henning-Scheuring first proposed the decorative banners in early 2016, and that summer the first series of red, white and blue banners featuring photos of local veterans and the conflicts they fought in, began appearing on streets around town. Her original estimate was that fewer than 50 banners would be purchased, but high demand led to more than 400 being placed around town that first season, and a cap of 500 in future years — a number Henning-Scheuring said she plans to stay within for the next round.
“We decided we should go to two years, because the banners, some of them were getting faded, and it’s just not nice to have them that way,” she said.
Since the banners were approved in Lansdale, borough staff developed an interactive online map showing which veteran is located where, and similar sets of banners have been approved and installed in Hatfield and Upper Gwynedd townships and North Wales Borough. Henning Scheuring was honored in 2017 with the Lansdale Historical Society’s Edwin G. Holl Historical Achievement Award for the banner program, as well as her efforts with that organization.
Even with that growth, there’s still a lengthy waiting list to get on a banner in Lansdale, Henning-Scheuring told Lansdale’s administration and finance committee on Feb. 6.
“Over 300 already, and probably about 80 brand new ones that couldn’t get on the last 500,” she said.
Councilman Leon Angelichio joked that council and staff should find ways to add more utility poles around town to hang the banners, and resident Nancy Frei asked if the town had any other public poles available to do so.
“We really don’t, not poles that are ours. Some are owned by Verizon, or whoever, but none that are strictly the borough’s,” Burnell said.
For the next round, Henning-Scheuring said, the price will be kept at $130 per banner for the two years, and those who already had banners in the first round can renew their participation for that price, but with a new banner to replace the old. The hundreds of old banners were on display at Borough Hall for much of December as those who paid for them came to collect, and Henning-Scheuring thanked local VFW Post 32 and Post Commander Stan Levinsky for storing those that still haven’t been claimed.
“Of the 500, there were only 60 left (unclaimed), which was great. Stan offered for the American Legion to store the 60 until some people could pick them up,” she said.
As of Wednesday night, 16 other owners had made arrangements to pick up their banners, leaving about 44 left from the first round. Anyone interested in arranging for pickup or renewing their banners can contact Henning-Scheuring at 215-855-1743 or [email protected]izon.net.
Henning-Scheuring said she and borough staff are also working to find locations, such as on Eighth Street, where banners can be hung perpendicular with the street instead of parallel, so they can be seen more easily by drivers.
“We’ll bring it forward to council, to vote to renew the program, and then we will discuss the logistics with our Public Works department,” Angelichio said.
Council member Carrie Hawkins Charlton asked if Henning-Scheuring could present details on the costs and revenues from the past several years of the program during the Nov. 20 meeting, when the program will be up for a vote. Henning Scheuring said she would, and said as of Feb. 6 she had about $7,000 left over from last year that could go to administering the nonprofit behind the banner program, and/or equipment repairs if needed.
Lansdale’s borough council next meets at 7 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the borough municipal building, 1 Vine St. For more information or meeting agendas and materials visit www.Lansdale. org.
Banners featuring local veterans are on display along Main Street and other roads in Lansdale Borough.
A banner on Main Street in Lansdale features Laura Love Heckman, who served in the Unites States Navy during the Cold War era.