Military moms and dads don't have to be far from home.
With the help of local golf courses and SFC Graphics in Toledo, children of deployed service members are able to have life-sized replicas of their loved ones.
Flat Daddies are printed posters of parents who are actively serving in the military overseas. The posters are made and given to spouses for free through the generosity of sponsors with shipping and handling costs of $9.50.
Green Hills in Clyde, Woussickett in Sandusky and River Cliff Golf Course in Fremont have combined efforts to provide Flat Daddies for local children.
By golfing at any one of the three facilities Friday during the summer, a portion of the green fees will be given to SFC Graphics to maintain the free production of the posters.
Heidi Maines, director of marketing at Green Hills Golf Course, and her husband, daughter and son started their own fundraiser for Flat Daddies last year.
"We made out our usual Christmas list, but instead of writing our wants, we included an article about Flat Daddies from the Toledo Blade and mentioned what a worthwhile cause it was," she said.
The family produced and sent out 32 lists to their friends and family. By the end of March, more than $900 had been collected and donated to SFC Graphics.
"I think this is very positive," Maines said of the Flat Daddies idea, "especially in light of the negative coverage that the whole issue gets."
The program was started in 2005 by Sgt. 1st Class Barbara Claudel of the Maine National Guard as a way to help families stay connected. It was based off of stories shared among mothers who had life-size images of their spouses blown up to comfort their children.
Pictures of the deployed family members are sent to SFC Graphics where they are uploaded and scanned to a 26-by-36-inch size and can be mounted on foam or plastic.
Flat Daddies and Flat Mommies for military children
Life-size posters of deployed service members from Sandusky, Seneca and Erie counties
Interested sponsors can visit the following golf courses to help the cause:
* Green Hills Golf Course & Inn, 1959 S. Main St., Clyde
* Woussickett Golf Course, 6311 Mason Road Sandusky
* River Cliff Golf Course & Lodge, 1313 Tiffin St., Fremont
Visit FlatDaddies.com for ordering information