Local residents and businesses have stepped up in a big way for this year’s Wreaths Across America effort organized by the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber has reached its goal of getting 500 sponsorships for the wreaths that will be placed on local cemetery grave markers Dec. 14.
The wreath sponsorships went on sale for $15, and the chamber sold all 500 of them. Proceeds will go to the Wreaths Across America nonprofit organization, which oversees the effort to lay wreaths at cemeteries in all 50 states on Dec. 14. That includes at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and there are over 1,600 participating locations overall.
“Wreaths Across America is a way of honoring our community members that have served in the military,” said Michelle Leonard, CEO for the local chamber, who comes from a military family herself. “I think for me and for the chamber, it’s a way of honoring them on more days during the year and not just on Veterans Day or Memorial Day.”
At the annual ceremony starting at 9 a.m. Dec. 14 at Calvary Cemetery in Hollister, event organizers will make sure to thank donors, including several corporate sponsors who helped out this year, Leonard said.
The sponsorship deadline was Monday. Between now and Dec. 12, live wreaths will be created back east and then shipped here by Dec. 13.
The public is welcome to attend the ceremony Dec. 14, Leonard said. That event will take place inside at Calvary Cemetery, 1100 Hillcrest Road, and then participants will go outside to place the wreaths.
Below, watch a video story about Wreaths Across America in Hollister: