Posted by Heather Rutz on Jul 27, 2017
For Mary Leavitt, every day is Flag Day.
Mary Leavitt runs one of the nation’s largest United States flag stores, so these days she is surrounded by them. But her experience began out of a love of them.
In 1980, during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, she wanted to show her patriotism, but couldn’t find a flag. Her searching led her to a grumpy wholesaler who didn’t want to sell one flag to one person. But she convinced him. Over and over, Mary went back to the wholesaler with larger orders after she realized others wanted flags, and that she could sell them to larger customers.
Eventually the work led to local and national media attention as the woman selling flags out of the back of her car while living in Libertyville, Illinois.
Today, Leavitt is the self-described “Flag Lady.” She and her daughter, Lori Leavitt Watson, run The Flag Lady’s Store in Columbus. Patriotism runs deep in her family roots. Her parents were Irish and German, and her grandmother was the second generation of her family to be born in the United States. Grandma Haley was especially patriotic, Leavitt said.
Grandma Haley always carried a small U.S. flag in her purse, Leavitt said.
“One day I asked her, ‘Grandma Haley, why do you always carry that flag in your purse?’” Leavitt said. “’She replied, ‘Who knows, I may get a chance to wave it today.’”
In other Rotary business Monday:
Bobbie Spence visited Rotary to give a spirited thank you for the gift of a wheel chair from the MESA warehouse. Spence, volunteer administrator for Restoration House and the community’s 2017 Jefferson Award representative in Washington, D.C., did not have the resources to borrow a wheel chair for her trip to Washington. MESA found her a chair and Rotary gifted the chair to her for further use.
Spence encouraged Rotarians to visit the Fostoria warehouse and experience what MESA does.
“It’s an experience you owe yourself,” Spence said.
Adam Stolly was welcomed as a new member of Rotary.
Demi Burden earned her red badge and turned in her blue badge.
Joe Kitchen provided a Rotary Spotlight about himself. The Spotlight feature can now be viewed on Facebook, either live or as a recorded video after.
Lima Rotary Club accepted a $1,000 donation from Andy Maravola and his annual charity car show.