The Tops Friendly Market at 390 W. Main St. in the City of Batavia will be among 33 of the full-service grocery stores participating in the Stars for Our Troops initiative June 9-22.
The program welcomes the community to donate their worn and tattered American Flags at select Tops Markets locations for proper retirement. Collection bins will be placed in the Batavia store's vestibule for American flag retirement.
In collaboration with partner veterans organizations, including Honor Flight and local VFWs, embroidered stars will be preserved and presented to local veterans who have defended our flag.
“The respect and gratitude we have for the people who serve and have served in the military is immeasurable, and for that we are forever grateful,” said Kathy Sautter, public and media relations manager for Tops.
"With Flag Day approaching on June 14 and the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, Tops wanted to offer the community this service to not only properly retire their flags, but also know they are in some small way extending their thanks and respect to a veteran through Stars for Our Troops.
“Many people don’t know how or where to retire their aged flags and end up just tucking them away in a garage or attic. This program allows us to not only assist the community with proper retirement, but also gives back to our Veterans in a unique and meaningful way."
When stars are removed and presented to a veteran at local VA hospitals, nursing homes, and placed in Honor Flight care packages the following message is tucked along with each star:
"I am part of our American flag that has flown over the USA. I can no longer fly. The sun and winds caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that You are not forgotten.”