Helping Manteca Chamber of Commerce clean flags and replace those that have been damaged: $5,000 or so.
Seeing the smile on Les Thomas’s face: Priceless.
That’s how Manteca Ford & Exotic High Line owner Phil Waterford sees it.
After returning last week from the Manteca Chamber of Commerce office to make his donation that will cover the funding gap of the $10,000 need to have the 2,500 flags used by the chamber in tip top shape, Thomas stopped by the North Main Street dealership to say thanks.
Thomas has faithfully been involved in every flag placement effort since the Flags Over Manteca started in 2002 in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He makes sure the flags are distributed and collected each time they are placed along Manteca streets.
Thomas was there to say thanks to Waterford for his generous donation. Instead, Waterford turned the tables and thanked Thomas for his efforts and service to America.
Thomas had gone into the dealership toting his oxygen to make sure Waterford knew how much he was appreciated for helping the flag effort.
Waterford came out of his office and hugged Thomas. He then invited all dealership employees that were available to the showroom. Once there, he asked everyone in attendance if they could help him congratulate the “2012 Veteran of the Year, Mr. Les Thomas”.
Thomas served in the United States Army from 1954 to 1957. During that time, he served with the 24th District in the Republic of Korea.
Waterford shared with his team that without fail for over the past 11 years, Thomas has over seen the distribution and collection of the 2,500 flags as part of the Flags Over Manteca.