As a prelude to Memorial Day and as a way to honor the first responders of the Thomas Fire and Mudslide, the businesses and merchants of 1187 Coast Village Road are joining with Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF) to unveil and dedicate a large flag that is made from actual fire hose. A short reception will follow. Some 25 local firefighters along with other first responders will be present along with other local officials and dignitaries.
The fire hose flag was created by retired Santa Barbara City firefighter John Carrillo to honor the first responders who risked their lives to aid those who were impacted by the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris Flow. Carrillo agreed to create a limited number of fire hose flags available for purchase, with all proceeds benefitting first responders and PCVF and local veterans.
These special art pieces are already very popular in the Santa Barbara area, and can be found hanging at many businesses, schools and local landmarks, including the Montecito YMCA, the Montecito Library and the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. There are also plans for flags to be installed at the UCSB Thunderdome, Santa Barbara City College and the Santa Barbara Zoo.
“As soon as we met with John [Carrillo] and saw how beautiful and unique the flag was, we knew it was something that would serve as a touching tribute to first responders, and an important reminder of the resiliency of our local communities,” said PCVF Co-Founding Director Hazel Blankenship. “We are so grateful he was willing to create additional flags, giving more people impacted by the Thomas Fire an opportunity to reflect, and of course raising critical funding for local veterans and first responders in need.”
Participating 1187 Coast Village merchants include: The UPS Store, Norvell Bass Cleaners, Sequel Salon, Here’s the Scoop, Ca’Dario, The Tennis Shop, Juice Ranch, Richie’s Barber Shop, Renaud’s Bakery and Bistro, Khoa Kaeng, Architect’s Consulting Services, Montecito Clock Gallery, Riviera Smiles and Dr. Susan Malde. Montecito Union and Cold Springs schools, numerous businesses and 32 individuals who either lost homes or suffered debilitating destruction are also participating.
Three original flags are still available at $2,500 and are totally tax deductible.
Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is committed to honoring the men and women who have served in uniform at any time. PCVF does this by supporting veterans and active duty members, and related partner organizations, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, as well as preserving military history and legacy. The Foundation works to uphold Pierre Claeyssens’s vision that those who have served are “Never Forgotten.” PCVF is funded entirely by private donations. For more information, visit www.pcvf.org or call (805) 259-4394.