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Monday, May 2, 2016

PCF offenders contribute to Sons of Legion project

Monday, April 22, 2013

Putnamville Correctional Facility (PCF) employee Michael Sparks (right) accepts a $500 check from Ataul Shafeek (center) and Karumathil Kumaran, representing the PCF's Purposeful Living Unit Serve (PLUS) program.
PUTNAMVILLE -- The Sons of American Legion Post 58 received an overwhelming response from offenders assigned to the Putnamville Correctional Facility's Purposeful Living Unit Serve (PLUS) program when asked to contribute to a fund to build a Ceremonial Flag Burning Pit in Veterans' Plaza located in Greencastle.

PLUS dorm representative, 43-year-old, Ataul Shafeek of Richmond, and program coordinator Karumathil Kumaran recently presented a $500 check to legionnaire and 19-year Putnamville employee Michael Sparks.

"This is really outstanding," Sparks told more than 150 offenders assembled recently in the PLUS housing unit.

"And, on behalf of the Sons of the American Legion Post 58, thank you. You guys don't know what this means to us."

Sparks, who is never at a loss for words, was momentarily humbled by the applause from the men. Once he regained his composure, he handed out diagrams of the project, explaining the purpose of the ceremonial flag pit and explained in great detail the layout and construction process.

"It's a $4,500 project, and because of you, we're halfway there."

Upon completion, the ceremonial site is anticipated to be the best in the area. It will benefit residents of the community wanting to dispose of old flags, and local Boy Scout troops who will assist in flag-burning ceremonies.

"Before they can participate, we teach them everything there is to know about a flag, its history, how to fold them, how to raise them and finally proper disposal -- that's where the 'ceremonial pit' part comes in," Sparks commented.

Anyone wanting to make a material or monetary donation or who has flags to dispose of may contact Michael Sparks of the Sons of the American Legion at 653-8939.

The project is scheduled for completion in May with a dedication ceremony to be held on Memorial Day, May 27, in Veterans' Plaza in Greencastle.

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