CNOtes – May 12, 2020 – Avenue of Flags 2020 Season Kickoff

A Replay of the ZOOM Meeting is Here

NOTE: The actual meeting starts at 23:44 – if you enjoy watching the socializing and member banter, I left it in – some of it is pretty fumy!


In keeping with social distancing requirements – our CNO Meetings have transitioned temporarily to a online format using ZOOM.

Club Member Joe Madden was inspire to rewrite The Optimist Creed – so we give you now – The Corona Creed -with apologies to Christian D. Larson, Author of The Optimist Creed.

Welcome Guests!

Guest Guest of
Laura Thimons Debe Dockins

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Laura Thimons Debe Dockins Second Reading
Margie Jones Mike Bevis Induction

Zoom Meeting This Week

Yankee Trace is still closed. We had another meeting using Zoom. We will continue our weekly meetings via computer, cell phone or tablet for at least the next several weeks. Please join us and keep inviting guests.

2020-2021 Officers and Board of Directors Elections

The nomination committee of the Centerville Noon Optimist Club, comprised of past presidents, the current president and incoming president have nominated the following people for Optimist Year 2020-2021:

  • President Elect, Gary Hansen
  • Vice Presidents, Beth Duncan and Bill Williams
  • Board of Directors nominated for 2-year terms are Christine Balsan, Pat Behn, Bob Glavin, Jim Long, and Brian Nolan
  • Board Members with a year left to serve are Amy Barker, Denise O’Neil, Vince Reidy, Carolyn Taylor, and Greg Wasmund
  • Debe Dockins is the president for 2020-2021 and she has chosen Nancy Lehren as her past president representative. Greg Griffin will serve as the Immediate Past President.
  • The incoming president chooses the Treasurer and Secretary. Debe Dockins has selected Roland Rapp for Treasurer and Jean Pummill for Secretary. They are both currently serving in those positions.

CNO Secretary Jean Pummill asked everyone to raise their hand if they wanted to accept the nominations as recommended by the nomination board and they did with no one opposing the motion. Congratulations to all the new board members and officers. Their terms begin on 10/1/2020.

Committee Meetings

Mike Bevis, chair of the golf committee, announced that the golf committee will hold a relaunch meeting on Zoom on 5/13/2020 from 6 PM to 7 PM to start working out how the golf outing will work this year. The golf outing is scheduled for 9/28/2020.

Social Events

5/21/2020, 4:30 PM, Thursday, Trivia Contest via Zoom video conferencing.

Avenue of Flags Fundraiser

Greg Griffin introduced the three chairs of the CNO Avenue of Flags (AOF) Committee. They are Tom Novak, Mike Brubaker and Bob Burkman. Each spoke to us about our fundraiser.

You can view the slide deck here. The slide deck has some great charts, graphs, and maps.

Flags normally are delivered for these flag holidays

  • Memorial Day
  • Flag Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day

This year flags will be delivered starting the Wednesday before Memorial Day weekend and will be picked up after Independence Day, which is approximately 6 weeks. This is being done to help with social distancing and at the request of the governor for everyone to display flags in support of our patriotism during the COVID crisis.

The flags will be redeployed for Labor Day and Veterans Day as in normal years.

After the flags go up for Memorial Day, many more subscription requests are expected as neighbors notice the flags. They plan to deliver to new subscribers during the 6 weeks.

Tom thanked the volunteers on the various Avenue of Flag teams

  • Subscriber renewal team; they follow up with subscribers that initially ignore the post cards and emails sent out reminding people to renew.
  • Flag site “check-up” teams; they have already gone out to make sure the inground sleeves can be found and are straight.
  • Flag delivery/retrieval teams.
  • Flag Facility Team at Sinclair College.

Tom gave special thanks to Paulette Novak, Sue Brubaker and Carol Burkman, who are the wives of the committee chairs, for their patience. At this time of year, the chairs spend a lot of time away from home helping with the Avenue of Flags.

Statistics and facts about the program from Mike Brubaker

  • 2019 net profit was $92,874
  • 2019 ended with 2410 flags delivered
  • At least 2286 flags will be delivered for Memorial Day
    • This is a 94.9% renewal rate, typically at this time of year it is only 85%
  • More subscriptions will be added before each flag delivery day
  • AOF volunteers periodically build the flags from purchased parts and kits
    • During the spring of 2020 they assembled 250 flags in just 2 hours
    • High volume purchasing saves us and other local Optimist clubs that we sell our flag supplies to

Delivery Facts

  • There are 64 routes with 128 delivery and pickup volunteers
  • Most routes have 30-35 flags
  • Routes are designed to take 1-2 hours to deliver
  • About 3 routes are added each year
  • The largest route has 181 flags

Groups providing pickup and delivery volunteers include

  • CNO members
  • AOF Subscribers
  • Blue Star Mothers
  • Various VFWs
  • CHS Wrestling Program (7 Parent/Son Teams, new for 2020)

Additional volunteers are always welcome

Let Tom know if you can help with delivery or pickup of flags. Helpers go out as 2 person teams. They are very excited to get volunteers that have flag friendly vehicles like mini-vans, SUV’s and pickup trucks. Don’t worry if you don’t have such a vehicle, you will be paired with someone who does.

COVID Crisis considerations and the AOF delivery process

Delivery volunteers go out in pairs. They should consider taking two vehicles this year to help with social distancing.

Sinclair College is currently closed. Special arrangements must be made each time we need access to our storage facilities at their Centerville campus. Delivery volunteers should be very careful about making sure they have all the equipment and flags they need. You may not be able to get back into the facility if you forget something.

Sending Payments

If you receive a payment of cash or check from a new or current subscriber, send them directly to the home of Bob Burkman. It saves a step instead of people sending to the CNO P.O. box. This increases the chances of late subscribers receiving their flags for Memorial Day or Flag Day.

Note that subscribers can subscribe, renew and pay with a credit card on the CNO website,

Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day History

Bob explained some history about Memorial Day. Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day started on May 30, 1865, to honor the 620,000 people who died in the Civil War. May 30th was chosen because there were no battles on that day. Memorial Day got its current official name in 1967. Currently Memorial Day is on the last Monday of May each year because of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Signed into law on June 28, 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act took effect on January 1, 1971. Bob mentioned that Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May as a tribute to the men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces.

AOF Flags History

In 2003 to test the fundraiser, CNO put out 30 flags for free in Quail Run. If Chuck Dickerson had not put up the initial $3000 in funding, the program probably would never have started.

Back in 2005, the first year Avenue of Flags was a fundraiser, they did skits at CNO lunch to educate members about the concept. One of the skits was the Tom and Jerry show played by “Tom” Novak and “Jerry” Stahley. Others played American Historical characters. Charlie Tapp dressed up as Paul Revere. Benjamin Franklin was played by Chuck Dickerson. Ken Peacock played Johnny Appleseed which represented the need to “plant” the flags.

Subscribers Help Us Serve the Community

The Avenue of Flags is about the American Flag. The revenue helps support what CNO does for the youth of our community. Neighbors telling their neighbors about the Avenue of Flags is a large source of new subscribers. This was the only way it worked for the first few years. If you have neighbors that have not subscribed, let them know about the program and how it helps the community.

Thank You Notes sent to CNO

No Thank Notes received this week.

CNO Donations 2013 through September 2019

Click this link to see a summary of the donations our club has made.

Over 50 years, we have donated close to $2,000,000 to our youth community. In the past 6 years, we have donated nearly $700,000.


Member Birthday
Tim Bemis May 15
Kristina Rainer May 16
Carolyn Taylor May 17
Jim Long May 17
Jack Anderson May 18

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
Brendan Cunningham May 15 5/15/2018 2
Jay Hoffman May 15 5/15/2017 3
Wendy Hattan May 15 5/15/2018 2

 Sergeants at Arms

No Sergeants this week. 

Happy Bucks

Member Reason
Myron Rheaume Able to drive a car for the first time in 3 months
Tom Novak For the newest Avenue of Flag delivery team of Debe Dockins, Laura Thimons, and Maureen Ruff
Gary Hansen Thanks to CNO for electing him as President for the 2021-2022 OI year