Fort Pierce Central High School JROTC cadets participated in the Wreaths Across America fundraising effort in the fall and raised over $1,100. The dollars raised were donated to St. Lucie County’s local veterans organizations in an effort to honor the men and women who dedicated themselves to serving and protecting our country in the armed services.
Immediate Past President of the Military Officers Association of America, Treasure Coast Chapter Bobbie Williams and Treasurer of the United Veterans of SLC, Inc. Vernon Walentainy were present to accept the donation from students. The gentlemen thanked the cadets and shared how the donation will make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families.
Background – Wreaths Across America
In December 1992 in Harrington, Maine, when wreath maker Morrill Worcester found himself with a surplus of 5,000 wreaths during the holiday season. Worcester saw the surplus as an opportunity to pay tribute to our country’s veterans and with the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, arranged for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery. This annual tribute to our country’s veterans has continued ever since, touching the lives of millions of veterans’ families and volunteers and growing in scope through the years.
In 2007, the Worcester family along with veterans and volunteers formed the non-profit organization Wreaths Across America to continue and expand their efforts at Arlington National Cemetery and to support those around the country who wished to do the same. Wreaths Across America’s mission is simple: Remember the fallen, Honor those that serve, and Teach the next generation about the value of freedom. Morrill’s wife, Karen, has served as the organization’s volunteer Executive Director since the non-profit was created and today oversees what has become a massive volunteer organization that continues to grow. In 2017 alone, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers place over 1.5 million veterans’ wreaths at 1,433 locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.