The 28th annual Wreaths Across America laying of the wreaths is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery at Fort Dodge.
The tradition began when the Worcester Wreath Co. donated Maine wreaths to adorn the headstones of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery.
Along with the wreaths going to Arlington, seven ceremonial wreaths will go 1,100 state, national and local cemeteries across the U.S.
According to Wreaths Across America, the organization was formed to expand the program by offering supporters the opportunity to sponsor a wreath with the goal "to one day see every veterans grave in the country covered to honor every veteran during the holidays."
The tradition expanded in 2008 with the opportunity to raise funds for their organizations' needs, along with helping Wreaths Across America gather sponsorships for wreaths.
Those efforts for expansion would be of the purchasing of a wreath for veterans at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery, and the Kansas Soldiers’ Home Cemetery at Fort Dodge.
A sponsorship for a wreath will cost $15.
According to Wreaths Across America, last year the organization was able to place wreaths on each grave in the new cemetery and place over 500 wreaths on veterans' graves in the old cemetery.
"Our goal this year is to purchase 500 wreaths for the new cemetery and donations received above our goal will be used to purchase wreaths in the old cemetery, which is the final resting area for nearly 1,000 veterans," said Wreaths Across America in a news release.
The $15 donation from businesses, civic organizations or individuals may be sent to cemetery manager Lori Snyder’s office at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery at Fort Dodge, 714 Sheridan, Unit 66, Fort Dodge, KS 67843.
Checks should be made payable to Wreaths Across America.
If the donation is for a specific veteran at either cemetery, include the veteran's name and location with the tax-deductible donation.
All donations need to be sent no later than Thursday, Nov. 15, to ensure order and delivery by the Dec. 14 ceremony.
To ensure the keeping of proper records of donations, do not make checks payable to the cemetery, Wreaths Across America said.
The annual wreath-laying ceremony is open to the public.
For more information or further questions, contact Snyder at 620-682-7564 or Lori.Snyder@ks.gov.
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