Hometown Hero program launches

Shown is what the 18-by 36-inch Hometown Heroes program banners will look like. (Source: Screenshot of Downtown Gloversville Hometown Heroes website)

GLOVERSVILLE — With the official launching of the Hometown Heroes banner program, locals have a chance to honor service members while also helping beautify downtown through purchasing commemorative banners.

The banners will hang on city-owned lampposts throughout the downtown core and will feature the veteran’s names, rank, years served, photo, and earned medals.

The design of the banners is meant to honor combat veterans while seamlessly adding to the historic aesthetic of downtown’s existing architecture.

The banners would be hung year-round on the decorative lamp posts downtown on North and South Main Streets and East and West Fulton Streets. The 79 lamp posts downtown could bear two banners each, allowing for the display of up to 158 banners.

The banner design was developed by Janene Bouck of Silent Jane Photography and follows the colors and design of the American flag with the photo of the service member prominently displayed in the center below the individual’s name on a mock brass plate.

The top of the banner sports the Hometown Heroes moniker, and the bottom of the banner features an area for the name of the banner sponsor.

Each banner would cost $250 in the first year to cover the cost of printing, the brackets to hang the banners and shipping. Each additional year that a banner remains up would cost $160 to cover monitoring, maintenance costs and reprinting of banners if necessary due to damage from the elements.

A portion of each banner purchase would be donated to the Veterans & Community Housing Coalition of New York.

Community members purchasing a banner to honor a service member would own the banner outright and could keep the item as a personal memento if they choose to end participation in the downtown display program at any point after the first year.

“The banner design is meant to honor the veterans in a way that respects the integrity of downtown as well,” Downtown Development Specialist James Hannahs said. “I think this design achieves the respect we’re looking for while balancing subtlety and functionality.”

The program also presents opportunities for collaboration between individuals and businesses, who can show their support through sponsoring banners.

The registration forms, which can be found both online and in print, call for the hero’s information, photo, and service confirmation records.

Registrants will also have the opportunity to provide a testimony on behalf of the hero. In addition, digital versions of each banner will be available online and will be joined with the written testimonies and digital map of their respective locations.

The registration window will be open from Monday through May 10.

Online forms can be found at www.downtowngloversville.org/hometownheroes along with PDF paper forms. Paper applications can also be found throughout various locations including Fulton County Center for Regional Growth at 34 W. Fulton St.; City Hall, 3 Frontage Road and The Leader Herald, 8 E. Fulton St..

At the conclusion of the registration process, banners will be hung following a formal ribbon cutting ceremony planned or Memorial Day weekend.

“We believe the Hometown Heroes Program not only brings awareness and appreciation to our local combat veterans, but also catalyzes community reinvestment on many level,” said Ron Peters, president and CEO of CRG. “This program is an honest testament of our community’s pride at work.”

The program is a partnership between Hannahs, the city of Gloversville and The Leader-Herald. Registration links and other program resources for Hometown Heroes are available at www.downtowngloversville.org/hometownheroes.

By Paul Wager