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Free Orchards Elementary gains flag from Hillsboro Elks

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - The Elks were honored at an assembly at Free Orchards Elementary School in Cornelius last month.Hillsboro classrooms are clad in red, white and blue thanks to some legislation and a local group of philanthropists.

The Hillsboro Elks Lodge donated 250 U.S. flags and brackets to hang them in each classroom in the Hillsboro School District, including Free Orchards Elementary in Cornelius.

“We are truly appreciative of the Hillsboro Elks’ generous donation to our district,” said Superintendent Mike Scott. “Partnerships and assistance like this are what make our community stronger.”

A bill passed in July requires public schools to display a U.S. flag in each classroom and provide students with an opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at least once a week.

When the Elks got wind of the news, they started making calls to see how they could help, said Dave Edwards, a Hillsboro Elks member.

“It’s important for kids to have an emblem of their country displayed,” said Edwards, who added that most of the Elks members are veterans who have a special place in their hearts for patriotic displays.

The Elks organize several children’s events throughout the year, and have a charity account set aside for good causes.

“We’re very happy to do it,” Edwards said. “The school districts don’t have a lot of money for certain things, so we’re happy to help when we can.”

“We’re so moved by the gesture,” said Beth Graser, communications director of the Hillsboro School District. “They value patriotism and civic responsibility. We appreciate their mindset — thinking about how to support kids and schools.

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