Veterans Salute — want to go?
• What: A Veterans Day parade that starts at 10 a.m., followed by festivities at Bryant Commons from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
• When: Saturday, Nov. 16
• Where: The parade starts at Bradwell Institute and goes down Gen. Screven Way to Hendry Street to Main Street. The festivities are at Bryant Commons on Highway 84.
Members of the Hinesville Military Affairs Committee met Monday evening to continue finalizing plans for the Nov. 16 Veterans Salute.
Subcommittee chairmen for the event held a workshop Sept. 10 to work out details for coordinating logistics, sponsors, entertainment, food vending and publicity. They reported their progress to members this week, allowing them to ask questions and make suggestions.
Committee chairman David Anderson began the meeting by thanking the subcommittee chairs for their work and asking members for their input.
“Thanks for coming out a second time during the month of September,” said Anderson, who also is a mem-
ber of the city council. “We need to
check with our subcommittee chiefs to see where we are with the Veterans Salute. I can report that we got the (special one-day event) alcohol permit approved by the city council. The city is taking care of the state permits.”
The first subcommittee chairman to report was Dennis Fitzgerald. As commander of the East Liberty American Legion Post 321, Fitzgerald already had been coordinating the Veterans Day parade, which will be part of this year’s Veterans Salute. There will not be a parade on Veterans Day — Monday, Nov. 11.
He said parade participants will line up at Bradwell Institute, as usual, and follow a route that takes them down Gen. Screven Way to Hendry Street to Main Street. Fitzgerald said the parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. Following the parade, everyone is invited to Bryant Commons, which will open at 11 a.m., followed by a noon ceremony to be conducted by community and military leaders.
Fitzgerald told HMAC members that participation in the parade is free, but said participants must complete an application, which they can get by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 980-5204 or 321-9706.
Fitzgerald said he has met with Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Vicki Davis and Hinesville Police Chief George Stagmeier regarding several logistics issues for the event. He said Davis helped develop a site layout for food and information vendors, entertainment, parking and bathrooms. Fitzgerald said he needs a letter, signed by the committee chairman, requesting the donated use of portable restrooms for the event.
Some suggestions were made about the event layout, including a need for a greater separation of the food-vendor area and the restrooms, as well as the need for a dining area. The dining area would require the donation or rental of tables and chairs.
Food-vendor chairman P.J. Schneider suggested asking the city to provide polycarts (trash cans) and having the public works department spray Bryant Commons for fire ants several days before the event. He reminded members that Bryant Commons would have to be cleaned up by 6 p.m., only one hour after the event ends.
Sponsors chairman George Holtzman reported his progress in securing sponsors for the event, noting support from local businesses is not yet where he had hoped it would be.
“I’ve got a few more (raffle item) donations,” Holtzman said. “Jody Smiley Landscape will donate $500 in landscaping services, and Gibson McDonald Furniture Company is giving a $1,000 gift certificate for our raffle. Oh, and Ranger Joe’s has agreed to give at least $100 worth of merchandise. They also said they’ll give away gift bags at the event.”
Melinda Scheider said other major sponsors include Fairfield Inn and Suites, La Quinta Inn and Suits, GeoVista Credit Union and Carla’s Colonial Bridal Shop.
Now that several high-dollar items have been donated, P.J. Schneider said he’d have 6,000 raffle tickets printed by the end of the week. Anderson suggested that all HMAC members and members of local veterans organizations volunteer to sell the $3 raffle tickets.
Anderson said the first-ever Veterans Salute is intended to thank current soldiers and their families for their sacrifices and to honor veterans for their service. Proceeds from the event will go toward the construction of a Veterans Memorial Walk at Bryant Commons, he said.
Before voting to adjourn, the committee agreed to have another subcommittee workshop Oct. 16.