CROSBY: Does Moving Wall have your number?
By Denise Crosby firstname.lastname@example.org August 30, 2013 5:28PM
Joe Toma, foreground, is in charge of lining up over 1,000 volunteers for the Vietnam Moving Wall coming to Aurora in early November. Here, he attends a committee meeting for the event with Chuck Nelson, left, and Jim Davidson. | Denise Crosby ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 3, 2013 6:17AM
I’m one of those right-brained folks, which means I run away from most subjects that have to do with math.
But the numbers in this column are all about volunteers. More specifically, volunteers needed for the Vietnam Moving Wall that’s coming to Aurora the first week in November.
There are 58,282 names on The Wall, and every single person who gave his life in that war will be read aloud while this beautiful memorial is on display at West Aurora High School from Nov. 7 through 11.
Joe Toma, who sits on the committee that is bringing the Vietnam Moving Wall to our community, figures 16 names can be called out every minute. So if we’re talking about 30-minute shifts, there’s a need for 216 volunteers just to read off the names.
Also needed are 381 “locators,” volunteers who will use computers to find out the panel and line number of any name on the wall.
Add to that another 264 “escorts” who will assist visitors in finding those names, once the proper location has been identified.
Then there’s the first–aid volunteers who will be on hand to aid anyone needing medical help. That requires another 156 people.
Thankfully, the only math required in this column is simple addition. Combine all those numbers and the Moving Wall committee is looking for 1,017 volunteers.
No matter how you figure it, that’s a heckuva lot of hands that are needed.
The good news is we’re getting word out there now so there’s plenty of opportunities to help out at this event expected to draw 300,000 people to the area. Training will be provided to all volunteers. And you can start signing up any time.
According to Toma, there will be two sign-up days at Prisco Community Center in Aurora from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 14 in Room 103; and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 19 in Room 104.
You can also sign up by calling 630-801-9591, or go to www.vietnammovingwallaurora.org.
Bottom line, says Toma, “We need lots of volunteers.” And that means they need your number.
And here’s more numbers to think about in conjunction with the Wall.
West Aurora High School will host a Healing Field of more than 2,000 American flags that will be displayed Nov. 3 to 13 outside the school, in dedication to all veterans.
Any community member can sponsor a 3-by-5 foot Healing Field flag for a $30 donation, and receive the flag at the end of the event. An honoring tag will be included for an additional $5, and the flag can be mailed to an address for another $10. For more information, go to www.aplusfouondation.org/healingfield,asp; or email email@example.com.
Hundreds of Healing Field displays are organized every year as community tributes, celebrations or fundraisers for worthy causes. But mostly, individual hearts are healed through this effort, said former West High co-principal Rudy Keller, who is spearheading this project.
To obtain a flag by mail, send checks to A+ Foundation Patriotism at West Aurora High School, care of Eve Willmann, 1201 W. New York St., Aurora, 60506; or drop it off at any Old Second Bank. Those who obtain a tag in memory of someone who has served will be able to place the tags on their own flags.
As you can see, this really is a huge local event. And the more of us who get involved, the better it will be.
Let’s do our community proud ... and our country even prouder.