The Vandalia Leader

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Flagpole to commemorate Mike Culwell to be installed this summer

Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 10:13 pm

By Brandie Gay

Shine from Within

One of the better-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteers are often the glue that holds the community together while connecting with the community and making it a better place. The smallest task can bring a big impact or difference to the lives in a small community. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends or strengthen existing relationships and ties within your small community. While some people are naturally outgoing, and others are naturally shy, volunteering improves your social skills and brings you closer to the group you work closely with.

This has been the case for the Vandalia Area Chamber of Commerce. On Jan. 16, 2024, the Chamber lost one of their volunteers, Mike Culwell. Mike was a big part of our small group. Mike was always the lead of the parade being the escorts for the veterans, standing up and honoring them while the National Anthem was playing with his motorcycle group, Sons of Light. Mike was also the Santa that showed up at the small white church to greet all the children and ask them what they wanted for Christmas. Those are just a couple of things Mike did to impact our community.

Not only did Mike love his community but he also loved the veterans and always wanted them to feel honored. Mike and his riding group would ride in the Honor Flight and at Prairie Days, raising the flag. In honor of Mike and the veterans he loved to honor, the Vandalia Area Chamber, Service & Supply Co-Op and Sons of Light Riding group will be installing a 60-foot flagpole in downtown Vandalia.

The Vandalia Area Chamber of Commerce donated $2,000 to the cause.