This #FountainHillsFriday is all about the VFW Post 7507’s Red Shirt Friday community campaign! Boe James, the Adjutant for Post 7507 gave us a complete run down of what this “Red Friday” is all about and what it means to Military Veterans here in Fountain Hills:

 “The Red Friday is a movement started in Canada to show appreciation and support for military forces (or “troops”).  Red was chosen because it is an official Canadian color, and historically it is a color of remembrance because it symbolizes the red poppies in Flanders Field and the loss of life that the country has endured.

Because of its broad appeal, it has spread to the US and other parts of the free world.  Red Shirt Friday is simply a derivation of the Red Friday movement.  The mission of Red Shirt Friday in Fountain Hills is simply to show support for our servicemen and servicewomen.  We care only about support for our service personnel whether stateside or deployed.

The goal in Fountain Hills is to show support for our service members by having as many people as possible wear Red Shirts on Friday.  The Red Shirt Friday movement was introduced to VFW Post 7507 after members had seen the idea elsewhere.  The concept was introduced to Fountain Hills in 2010 by the three local Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), being American Legion Post 58, AmVets Post 7 and VFW Post 7507.  The effort was led and continues to be led by VFW Post 7507.  In 2011, the Mayor and Town Council declared Fountain Hills a Red Shirt Friday Community. 

As a way to show support, one initial goal was to have 8,000 in Red Shirts join hands and encircle Fountain Lake in a little over a year.  On Veterans Day during the 2011 Great Fair, the VFW managed to get several thousand people in Red Shirts gather in Fountain Park and then proceed to the Veterans Memorial for a prayer. That afternoon, the Post had a WW II B-17G Flying Fortress fly over the fountain with 8 veterans aboard at the same time as the fountain was turned red for the one and only time.  The red signifying the blood shed by service members in defense of our great country.

The profit earned by selling Red Shirt Friday shirts was a byproduct of the goal to show support for American troops.  All profit from the sale of Red Shirt Friday shirts by the VFW has been used to support homeless veterans.

Currently, fellow Chamber members are supporting Red Friday by offering deals or discounts to customers who done their red shirts in their businesses. Wendy’s on Shea gives a free Softy treat to anyone wearing a Red Shirt Friday shirt (not just any red shirt) on Fridays. Gridley’s of Fountain Hills, H.D Asian Bistro, Senor Taco, and Grand Canyon Wine Tasting Room also are offering a 15% discount to anyone wearing a Red Shirt Friday shirt. We thank these Chamber members for supporting other members! 

Red Shirt Friday shirts will be on sale on September 30th and Oct 1st at the Oktoberfest festivities in Fountain Park. Shirts can be bought from CardSmart in Plaza Fountainside 8:30 to 5 Monday thru Saturday or from the VFW online or at special events such as Oktoberfest, the Great Fair, the Fountain Festival of Arts and Crafts, Pearl Harbor Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, etc.  Shirts can be bought through the Red Shirt Fridays Facebook page (make sure it is Red Shirt Fridays in Fountain Hills, not something similar) or from the VFW Post’s website at http://www.VFWpost7507.org” – Boe James, VFW Post 7507 Adjutant