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Thompson, Smith gather for preview of new flags

October 30, 2010

(From left) Bill Deeley, president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle; Pennsylvania State Representative Sam Smith; Congressman Glenn Thompson; and Ron Ploucha, exhalted ruler of B.P.O. Elks Lodge No. 301, preview new flags that will be presented at a dedication to local veterans Nov. 7. (Photo by Holly Shok/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Friday at Gobbler’s Knob, U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson and state Rep. Sam Smith previewed new national and state flags to be presented at a dedication to local veterans Nov. 7.

“I certainly wanted to support the local organizations as they prepare to do an outreach program for our veterans,” Smith said. “Any time we can support those efforts and recognize people who have served our country, it’s a worthwhile cause.”

Present were the organizers of the upcoming ceremony, and members of both the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club and B.P.O. Elks Lodge No. 301.

The currently-flagless Gobbler’s Knob flagpole will be “rejuvenated,” said Ron Ploucha, exalted ruler of the Elks, before the ceremony.

“We’re doing this for the veterans,” Elks Leading Knight Gene Roberts, chairman of the veterans’ committee, said. “We want the veterans to feel honored.”

According to Ploucha, all local veterans are invited to the Gobbler’s Knob ceremony, set for noon Sunday, Nov. 7.

The Elks will serve a complementary lunch to attending veterans before the 1 p.m. flagpole dedication, at which the Jefferson County Veterans’ Honor Guard will present the colors and patriotic music will be played, Ploucha said.n A permanent memorial stone will be unveiled following the lunch.

Ploucha said that the Inner Circle will provide veterans residing in nursing homes within the Borough of Punxsutawney with bus transportaion aboard the “Phil-mobile.”

All veterans in attendance will additionally receive a small commemorative flag.

“There’s a saying in the Elks Club,” Ploucha said. “As long as there are veterans, they will never be forgotten.”

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