Individuals and businesses are needed to sponsor wreaths for veterans graves in Lake County for the national Wreaths Across America event scheduled to take place the morning of Saturday, Dec. 18.
Wreaths Across America is a national organization that works with local veterans organizations to remember those who have served in the American armed forces every December with wreath-laying ceremonies.
In Lake County the ceremonies have taken place at the Sunset and IOOF cemeteries, with the Westside cemetery being part of the wreath ceremony this year.
In 2020, individuals and organizations worked to make sure that every veteran buried in a southern Lake County cemetery was honored with a wreath. One of the goals is to lay a wreath at the grave of every veteran buried in Lake County and not just in the cemeteries in the Lakeview area.
Volunteers joined members of the Layne Clifton VFW Posts #4070 in 2020 to place wreaths and to remember those who served. Members of the VFW held a solemn ceremony at the beginning in which each member of the VFW Post placed a wreath for a particular military branch.
People are encouraged to sponsor as many wreaths as they can. Each sponsorship costs $15 per wreath and can be done online through wreathsacrossamerica.org and people can search Lake County or Lakeview or a particular cemetery. They can choose either IOOF or the Westside cemeteries. The Westside cemetery only has a few wreaths left to sponsor, while the IOOF cemetery has 254 wreaths to go. The deadline to sponsor a wreath is Monday, Nov. 29.
Each wreath is handmade from balsam by a company based in Maine. A portion of the proceeds go to the support the VFW Post #4070 operations and part goes to support the national Wreaths Across America organization.
Last year The Dinner Bell Café held a fundraiser to support the sponsoring of wreaths, and other individuals and businesses also contributed to sponsor the most wreaths in Lakeview in many years.
The wreaths remain at the grave sites through the holiday season and the official retirement of the wreaths begins Jan. 22, 2022.
The wreath laying ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. on Dec. 18 and volunteers are needed to help lay wreaths at the graves of veterans.
For more information on how to volunteer or to sponsor a wreath visit wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/166757/.