- Merrill Elementary
Flag Corps to Honor Sandie Storley Who Volunteers Her Time For the Team
Sandie Storley volunteered her time for numerous causes in the Stateline Area. In 2002, she started working with the girls of the flag corps at McNeel and Cunningham schools in Beloit.
“She said, ‘I want to help these girls out. So she made costumes for them and soon she was running the program and doing fundraisers for the flag corps,” said Storley’s son, Jeff.
This Memorial Day, past and present flag corps members will pay homage to the woman who served as flag corps coach over the years. The flag corps will join the Beloit Lions Club, marching in the parade wearing T-shirts featuring Storley’s face and carrying a banner thanking Storley for all she has done.
She was known for never saying no to anyone who needed a hand. She not only volunteered with the flag corps, she volunteered delivering meals for the Beloit Meals on Wheels, at Autorama and Beloit Evening Lions Club fundraisers such as Dining in the Dark. Storley was the first woman to join the Beloit Evening Lions and she was the first woman to serve as president of the club.
Tammy Gempeler has been working to make the T-shirts that will be worn by past and present flag corps members.
“I think we will have 40 all together,” she said of the T-shirts bearing the image of Storley’s face. “The girls who were in her flag corps, she (Storley) had a huge impact on their lives.”
Gempeler’s daughter, Brianna, is working with the current flag corps members on their routines for the parade. She said she is only helping with coaching for this parade.
Gempeler said her daughter was in flag corps when Storley was coaching and she grew to be her friend.
“She loved the girls. We are going to miss her,” she said.
Tracy Schoville said when her daughters were in the flag corps she got to know Storley and her volunteer spirit, which was catching. Soon, Schoville was joining Storley in volunteering at Lions Club events and other fundraisers.
“She reinvented herself over the years and I think she is helping us reinvent ourselves too,” Schoville said. “She helps us all reinvent ourselves.”
Schoville said she doesn’t know how many of the girls from past flag corps teams will join the present team members in the parade, but she hopes they will have time to practice beforehand.
Another cause that was near to Storley’s heart was the Beloit Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to homebound residents. Storley was a dedicated volunteer, said Meals on Wheels Executive Director Ellen Wiegand.
“She was very instrumental to Meals on Wheels,” Wiegand said. “Her enthusiasm and spirit shines on us all.”
Wiegand said Meals on Wheels will present a new award this year at the agency’s volunteer honors event. The new award, the Sandie Storley Dedicated Service Award, will honor Storley’s spirit of volunteerism, Wiegand said.
The Memorial Day Parade will begin at 9 a.m. Monday on Blackhawk Boulevard in South Beloit and end near Horace White Park in Beloit.