Waukon resident addresses "Star-Spangled" need at Allamakee County Fairgrounds

"Oh, say can you see" - you can now ... Through a couple different fundraising efforts and additional donations from the community, Waukon Wellness Center employee Amy Johnson has facilitated the installation of an American flag at the combined location of the Waukon Park and Recreation Softball Complex and the Allamakee County Fairgrounds grandstand area. The new flag pole and flag is being installed in view of the fairgrounds grandstand in time for the Allamakee County Fair. Submitted photo.

Amy Johnson of Waukon, an instructor at the Waukon Wellness Center, noted for the last several years while attending grandstand events at the Allamakee County Fairgrounds in Waukon that each time she heard the National Anthem being played for an event and looked around to acknowledge the flag, there was no flag.

"It always bothered me that there was no flag when the National Anthem was playing," Johnson shared. "My father was a Vietnam veteran, so this was very important to me and dear to my heart."

After attending numerous events with no flag to acknowledge and this sort of "troubled" feeling concerning her, Johnson recalled a quote she tries to live by: "Be the change you want to see." She thought, "I'll just do it," and took action.

Since some of Johnson's heartfelt passions are for exercise and running, she decided to organize a fundraising effort called "Raise the Flag," in conjunction with Waukon Wellness Center. The fundraising event involved a snowshoeing activity this past February, successful in raising a portion of the funds for a flag and pole.

Determined to complete her endeavor, Johnson had another idea, a Cinco de Mayo 5K Run held this past May, to supplement funds towards her goal. Donations were also contributed by members of the community who heard of her mission.

Funds were secured for the flag and a 30-foot pole, with the Waukon Wellness Center/Park & Rec Departments donating the additional funding for a solar light mounted on the top of the pole to illuminate the flag.

The flag is planned to be up and flying just in time for the 2017 Allamakee County Fair, and it will be located at the southwest edge of the softball complex, near Highway 9. The flag location offers a respectful view from the fairgrounds grandstand, and the flag also serves as a welcome addition to the City Softball Complex and passing traffic.

"Amy is a perfect example of what a difference one person and one idea can make, and she is thankful to all who have helped make her vision a reality," offered Waukon Park, Recreation and Wellness Department leaders.