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Veterans donate Ripon High School stadium pole, flag

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The all-female Ripon High School JROTC Color Guard stands at attention with the colors at Friday’s flag pole dedication at the Ripon High School Stadium.

Photo courtesy Steve McClure/

POSTED November 22, 2013 11:37 p.m.

The woman behind the Ripon Community Athletic Foundations’ successes in the million dollar restoration of the Ripon High School stadium – Stephanie Hobbs – said the dedication of the flag pole Friday had the “deepest impact” on her heart.

Nearly 100 business and professional leaders from the community gathered to take part in the morning dedication of the flag pole that was donated by both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“For Ripon the possibilities are endless when we are relentlessly committed to a common goal and I know with all my heart that Ripon’s best days are still ahead of us,” Hobbs said.

She added that in reflecting on the values of the community, it occurred to her that in order to come together as a country, people must first come together as a community.

“I don’t think it is a coincidence that John F. Kennedy was assassinated on this date 50 years ago.  His famous quote is exactly the spirit of what we are talking about today:  ‘Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’”

She added that Ripon’s flag and new flagpole stands for freedom and following a vision, starting at zero and working hard to bring it to fruition.

“It represents a small American town coming together and sacrificing for their kids and their community to have a safe and updated facility that’s a cultural hub for our town,” Hobbs stressed.  “As a daughter of German immigrants it symbolizes a patriotic heart overflowing with gratitude, faith, and a passion to be a productive citizen.”

She directed her thoughts to the flagpole and all the physical improvements that have been installed in the stadium since 2007, noting how many lives have been impacted in being a part of the process.  Hobbs lauded her husband Vince’s leadership and project management on his days off as a fire department captain in the Bay Area.

Hobbs noted that with the new field, athletes are able to compete at their potential.  The football team had the best season in 29 years and the boys’ soccer team enjoyed their most successful year in the history of their program.

The invocation was said at the onset by Pastor Chuck Roots followed by the singing of the National Anthem by RHS senior Jami Myers.

The ceremonies closed with the singing of “God Bless America” led by Pastor Chuck Roots.  At the conclusion the JROTC canon resounded with a single loud boom to mark the event.

A plaque mounted on a boulder will tell the story of Ripon’s determination drive to succeed together for future generations.  It reads, “This flag pole dedicated to the community of Ripon by the veterans of Ripon.”

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