Cherokee County charity going after Fourth of July flag thieves - CBS46 News

Cherokee County charity going after Fourth of July flag thieves

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Members of the Towne Lake Optimist Club in Cherokee County have a warning for people who plan to steal their American flags.

"We will prosecute the people that are responsible for these stolen flags," said Matt Halloran, with the Towne Lake Optimist Club.

In the last 14 months, the club has made nearly 500 flags. When they are not being stored by group members, the flags are displayed in front of homes and businesses on six special occasions including the 4th of July. Last year, 16 flags went missing and only ten were returned.

"One of the people was caught and he apologized, and I think that convinced us that he had learned a lesson," said Roger Carter, a member of the Towne Lake Optimist Club.
 
The group decided not to prosecute, but after five more flags turned up missing over the July 4, holiday weekend, the group decided to be more aggressive.

"It is not a game. It is a serious thing what they are doing. They are also desecrating the American flag," Halloran said.

The Optimist Club sells sponsorships for the flags. The money raised goes to a number of programs and charities that help underprivileged and sick children in Cherokee county.

"The YMCA has a summer camp, and not everybody can afford to send their child there to summer camp, so what we do is provide the YMCA with funding for scholarships," Halloran said.

"We have an annual boat ride on Lake Allatoona on a 110 foot houseboat for not only the sick child, but brother, sisters, mothers and fathers," said Carter.

Club members hope their message gets out.

"When they take a flag, they are taking money from the children of Cherokee County," said Carter.

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