As Nov. 1 and the second annual Veterans Salute at Bryant Commons draw near, the Hinesville Military Affairs Committee continues to work on details for the event to honor all veterans, past and present.
Food, craft and other vendors as well as various types of entertainment are being sought in the weeks leading up to the big event. Tickets are being sold by the thousands for a 50/50 drawing, and high-dollar items are being donated for a special silent auction. One of those items was donated to HMAC on Sept. 17 by the Stars and Stripes Quilting Guild.
A stitched label on the back side of a large quilt with patriotic stars and hearts on a red, white and blue pattern says the quilt was donated to HMAC by the ladies in the Stars and Stripes Quilting Guild. The “Forget me not” quilt was made to be sold or auctioned during the Veterans Salute. Proceeds from the sale will go toward the construction of the Veterans Memorial Walk at Bryant Commons.
Anderson showed off the quilt to HMAC members during Monday night’s meeting. Jack Morris helped Chairman David Anderson unfold and display the quilt for all to admire. Anderson said the idea for the ladies to do a quilt was suggested by one of the quilting guild’s members, Anna Phillips, who also is the city’s GIS coordinator. He said he was surprised when Phillips called him last week and said the quilt was complete.
Several HMAC members commented on the quality of the quilt, particularly its patriotic pattern. Some said a quilt like that could sell for $400-$500.
Other high-dollar items already donated include a flat-screen TV.
There was a short delay in getting the meeting started Monday because members were turning in money to HMAC secretary Sandy Adams from 50/50 ticket sales.
The first order of business was about logistical support for the event. Anderson said he was taking care of it himself but opened the floor to suggestions about getting tents, tables and chairs for the event.
“We have two or three HMAC tents in our attic,” P.J. Schneider said. “Before we go to Fort Stewart to borrow any, let’s see what condition these tents are in, and let me check with John Crowley at The Heritage Bank. I know they’ve got some tents.”
Anderson said they would need to determine how many tables and chairs would be needed. They also need to decide how many poly-cart trash cans and porta-potties will be needed, he said. Schneider advised him to ensure a few of the porta-potties were handicapped-accessible. He added they also needed to ensure they designate an area for VIP and handicapped parking.
Because he’s also a city councilman, Anderson said he is almost certain he’d have all the necessary applications completed and permits approved by their next meeting, Oct. 14.
“I think by the next meeting, we’ll have everything we need,” he said. “I think we’re on track. We still have a few loose ends, but I think everything will work out.”
Anderson said he asked Mayor Jim Thomas about a variance to the city ordinance to let HMAC put up a banner on a military vehicle parked near the fence at Bryant Commons. He shook his head to indicate that no sign variance would be approved. Schneider joked Anderson didn’t fight hard enough for the variance because he didn’t show any signs of cuts or bruises. George Holtzman said City Manager Billy Edwards told him he was working on getting a new sign for Bryant Commons.
Several members mentioned details that need to be worked out before the event, and plans were made to set up a walk-through on the grounds before the planners’ last meeting. Karen Bell reviewed a list of acts already lined up for the event. She said she had emailed Liberty County School System Dr. Valya Lee and Chief Administrative Officer Jason Rogers about supporting the event. Melinda Schneider said that message was possibly what prompted a call she received from the BoE about wanting to send eight teachers to the event to paint faces.
New HMAC member Jane Carter introduced a guest who also wants to join. Barbara Nabb said she is a retired Army Reservist looking for a way to continue working with the military. She immediately was welcomed as a new member. Anderson invited her to help with one of the subcommittees for the Veterans Salute. Carter said Nabb is knowledgeable about social media, which prompted someone to suggest that she tell the city’s Facebook friends how to find Bryant Commons.