Americanism has been called “The Heart of Exchange” because Exchange champions American ideals, and Exchange Clubs exist only on American soil. Exchange prides itself on its knowledge of American traditions, none less important than honoring the sacred American symbol – the flag. Help promote the proper display and faithful flying of the “Stars and Stripes” by recognizing a person, family, or business in your community that flies the flag properly and faithfully.
There is little expense and need not be great time invested in this program to make it meaningful and popular among club members and the community. Buying a plaque from National Exchange Supply is the only up-front cost. Consider the cost of engraving the plaque and buying meals for guests attending a meeting function where the plaque would be awarded.
Use the committee system to canvass the community for a worthy recipient. Start along your main business corridor to find someone worthwhile. Ask club members to help submit nominations. Drive by the home or business to determine for yourself the credibility of the recipient. Multiple nominees might help foster interest, and a list of candidates might serve well for several years’ worth of presentations.
Call the recipient to ensure that the business or person is willing to receive the award at a club meeting and would additionally be willing to hang the plaque in view of the public or guests. If there is not immediate positive response, perhaps another business or person would be more likely to both graciously accept and enthusiastically support spreading the Exchange name which the plaque ensures.
Have the plaque engraved with the name of the recipient/business, the name of your club, and the date of the presentation. The award presentation fits readily into routine club meetings where a larger program is scheduled. For example, Proudly We Hail might come during weekly club business announcements, before introducing a speaker who will educate the club on heart healthy eating. Having the business owner or general manager there to accept the plaque and say a few words about why they fly the flag so proudly and faithfully might inspire other business owners to do the same. However, just as easily, Proudly We Hail could be expanded into a larger patriotic event celebrating the American flag itself, such as seen at National Exchange Conventions.
Do not forget inviting the media to come take film of pictures of the presentation. It is good for Exchange, your club, and the business or person being honored.