DAR: Let’s paint town patriotic

Published 1:17 am Friday, May 11, 2018

Group seeks sponsors for effort to paint fire hydrants

Members of the Old Three Notch Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution are seeking a few sponsors to help them paint Andalusia the most patriotic town in the South.

Brenda Gouge, who serves as the organization’s regent, said she stumbled upon the idea by accident.

“I saw a picture of some DAR ladies in Alabama. They were standing outside at the Kate Duncan school and there was a fire hydrant right in front of them. I thought, ‘too bad that fire hydrant’s not red white and blue.’ ”

The idea stuck with her, and she began to look online to see if anyone else had painted fire hydrants.

“There’s a town in Ohio that’s done it, and one in Illinois,” she said. “That’s all I can find, but there may be other towns out there. My mom says all of the whole country did it in 1976.”

She approached Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson with the idea, and he agreed to give it a try. The city council is expected to approve patriotic designs next week, and members of the DAR will find sponsors to make the project happen. Sponsors will only cover the $75 cost for painting.

Gouge said she believes it’s an idea that will catch on.

“With all that’s going on in the world, it’s a quiet way to be patriotic,” she said.

Fellow DAR member Sue Bass Wilson is helping find sponsors for the project. The two spoke to the Andalusia Lions Club last week, and they agreed to become the first sponsor.

“I really think we can take this nationwide,” Gouge said.

“It’s a good community look,” Wilson said. “And it’s unifying.”

Wilson said the effort will start with finding sponsors for the main streets, and the DAR would like to have those pointed in time for the annual Fourth of July parade it sponsors.

Checks will be written to the DAR, who will in turn pay the city to paint the hydrants. The donations may be done in honor or memory of someone, and that will be noted in published lists of sponsors.

The freedom hydrant forms are available here, or by calling Gouge at 334.222.0347. The deadline is Friday, June 8.