News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

C4C to bring back banners

After a one year hiatus, local nonprofit Citizens4Community (C4C) is partnering with community volunteers to bring back the Sisters Banner Project to honor local graduating high school seniors.

For a few weeks in late spring, Sisters' downtown lamp posts will be adorned with over 100 custom banners – each featuring a student due to graduate from Sisters High School and other local institutions. The project will put Sisters' hometown and academic pride on full display for both residents and the thousands of travelers who pass through town each day.

To make the project a reality, C4C has launched a fundraising campaign, hoping to raise $3,500 from the community to cover project costs. Individuals and businesses can make a tax-deductible donation by visiting http://www.citizens4community.com/banners.

"The Banner Project was initially launched in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, when in-person graduation festivities weren't feasible," explained Kellen Klein, C4C's executive director. "The banners were a way to ensure that local graduates still felt celebrated and seen by their community."

The project was led by C4C for two years before being handed over to Sisters School District for the Class of 2022. When the banners did not return last year, C4C received numerous inquiries about the project's status.

"It quickly became clear how much the banners had meant to local students, families, and the broader community," said Klein.

Last fall, parent volunteers Jamie Vohs and Angie Bagg reached out to Klein, curious to see if there might be a way to bring back the project. The three immediately got to work exploring the feasibility of a revitalization in time to celebrate the Class of 2024.

The Banner Project is now on track for a spring 2024 launch. Banners will be hung along Cascade, Main, and Hood avenues from late April through early May, and then taken to Sisters High School for further display in the cafeteria for the final weeks of the school year. At graduation, each senior will receive their banner as a keepsake, symbolizing the community's pride in their achievements.

The project is not exclusive to students attending Sisters High School, though. Local graduating seniors who are homeschooled or attend other institutions are also invited to participate, and can do so by emailing C4C at [email protected].

Klein emphasized that each student's banner location will be randomly chosen.

"We understand some lamp post locations might be more appealing than others, but we are committed to making this an equitable process," he said. "Following installation, we'll inform each student of their banner's location so that they and their families can easily find it downtown."

In addition to lead volunteers Vohs and Bagg, the Banner Project is benefiting from partnerships with several community members and organizations. SHS Art Teacher Bethany Gunnarson is handling banner production using the art program's in-house printer; SHS Yearbook Advisor Susie Seaney is ensuring that each senior has a quality photo for their banner; Explore Sisters is coordinating the timeline of the public banner showcase; and the City of Sisters Public Works staff will lead banner installation and take-down.

C4C hopes to garner even broader community support through its fundraising campaign. If the organization surpasses its $3,500 goal, any surplus funds will be directed toward future youth-oriented initiatives in Sisters Country.

"This project is a testament to our strong community spirit in Sisters Country," said Klein. "We invite everyone to join us in supporting our students. The success of this project relies on the generosity of the community, and every contribution, no matter the size, makes a meaningful impact."

Tax-deductible donations can be made online at citizens4community.com/banners, or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 2193, Sisters, OR 97759 (please write "Banner Project" on the memo line).

 

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