The deadline is fast approaching for Ceres residents to honor active duty service members and military veterans from Ceres in the city’s trial run of the Hometown Hero Banner Program.
Only 15 have thus far applied and been approved to participate in the program. A total of 37 banners are available for service members to be displayed for a year. Both sides will display the service members’ photo, name and branch of service.
Joey Chavez, the city’s Recreation Manager who is managing the program, said roughly half of the 15 applications are for present active-duty personnel while the remaining honor veterans, some deceased. For example, one banner will honor an Army sergeant who enlisted in 1943 during World War II.
Banners will be posted on poles in downtown Ceres on Third, Fourth and North streets prior to the week of Veterans Day which falls on Friday, Nov. 11.
The city has applications for family members to fill out and submit by Tuesday, Sept. 6. They are available at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street, or on the city’s website at www.ci.ceres.ca.us
Proof of Ceres residency will be required to prove that the service member is from Ceres.
Chavez said a survey revealed that Ceres is hometown to 123 active service personnel and 22 reserves residing in 95307 95351 and 95358 zip codes.
The first year of the program is being underwritten by a $7,000 allocation from the city’s share of ARPA funds.
The city will also be looking for financial sponsors to keep the program running after the first year to pre-empt the need to charge families of the member for the banners. Sponsorships are available to help underwrite the costs of the program at the $100, $225, $500, $1,000 and $5,000 levels.
Banners will hang for one year until retirement and then presented to the family.
A vendor in Turlock, All Star Trophies & Banners, has given the city a quote of $158.40 per banner with tax being extra.