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Wintersville Woman’s Club learns about Wreaths Across America

Wreath sponsorships for veterans’ graves remain available

GUEST SPEAKER — Wendy Barr, center, was the guest speaker at the Nov. 21 meeting of the Wintersville Woman’s Club. With her are Mary Beth Allan, left, club president, and Pat Daily, program chairman. Barr explained what the Wreaths Across America program is and her role in it as a local coordinator. Wreaths can still be sponsored for a $15 donation. -- Janice Kiaski

WINTERSVILLE — Two years ago, Wendy Barr noticed that Two Ridges Cemetery in Wintersville was a location for Wreaths Across America as part of a ceremony where wreaths purchased through sponsorships are placed on veterans’ graves during a special December ceremony.

“I wanted to expose my son to this,” Barr told members of the Wintersville Woman’s Club during a program presentation at its Nov. 21 meeting held at the St. Florian Event Center.

Being a part of that effort that involved laying 25 wreaths inspired Barr to pursue having Union Cemetery in Steubenville become an official Wreaths Across America site as well. The effort she and Annabelle Clutter of the Jefferson County Veterans Service Commission made led to Union Cemetery being a first-time participant last year.

There are 2,500 veterans buried in Union Cemetery, she said. “Last year we were able to get around 260 sponsorships, a far cry from 2,500,” she said, but not a bad first-time outcome.

Barr is now involved in coordinating the Wreaths Across America ceremonies at several area cemeteries, including at Union Cemetery and Mount Calvary Cemetery in Steubenville, the latter of which will be a first-time participant. The ceremony will be held at those locations beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 14. Normally the ceremonies begin at noon but are starting later to not conflict with the starting time of Steubenville’s Christmas parade.

New Cumberland Cemetery and Fort Steuben Burial Estates in Wintersville, meanwhile, will have their first-time Wreaths Across America ceremonies at noon, also on Dec. 14.

There is a $15 fee to purchase a wreath, and the deadline to get one is fast approaching, according to Barr, who said it is Monday. For information, contact Barr at (740) 278-2295.

Those interested in volunteering for Wreaths Across America, or sponsoring a wreath for any of the cemeteries, also can visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org to learn more.

Location codes and wreath coverage goals for each location are: Two Ridges Cemetery, Wintersville, OHTRCW, 25; Union Cemetery, Steubenville, OHUCAS, 2,500; Fort Steuben Burial Estates, Wintersville, OHFSBE, 500; Mount Calvary Cemetery, Steubenville, OHMCCS, 2,500; and New Cumberland Cemetery, New Cumberland, WVNEWC, 500.

This marks the second year for Union Cemetery to participate in the national event and the fourth year for Two Ridges Cemetery.

“‘Everyone Plays A Part’ is this year’s theme,” explained Barr, who said that nationally there are close to 2,000 participating locations placing wreaths on National Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 14 with more than 2 million volunteers.

“The goal for all the locations is to raise enough funds to place veterans’ wreaths on the headstones of all the local heroes laid to rest there, to ensure that the individuals who served to protect the freedoms of our country never be forgotten and to bring the community together in patriotic commemoration,” Barr noted in past correspondence.

Wreaths Across America started as a simple gesture of thanks that, during the last 10 years, has grown into a national movement of dedicated volunteers and communities coming together to not only remember the nation’s fallen and honor their service, “but to teach the next generation about the sacrifices made for us to live freely,” according to Barr.

National Wreaths Across America Day is a free, nonpolitical, community event open to all people. Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission — “Remember, Honor, Teach” — is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.

President Mary Beth Allan presided at the business meeting where Aimee Jaros, corresponding secretary, led in opening exercises and read thank-you notes from various organizations grateful for club donations.

Karen Hill gave the treasurer’s report.

The meeting included a final report on Holiday Splendor, the club’s annual fundraiser for scholarship giving. It will be held Sunday at St. Florian Event Center.

Natalie Doty, arts committee chair, noted Thanksgiving cards would be delivered to area nursing homes and Christmas cards would be made into ornaments for delivery in December.

A parliamentary moment by Marjean Sizemore involved the explanation of a motion.

Under new business, Marjean Sizemore, Joyce Palmer and Robbie Young were nominated to comprise the nominating committee, its purpose to present a slate of officers at the January meeting.

The final business and luncheon meeting of 2019 will be held at noon on Dec. 19 at St. Florian Event Center with Loretta Cottrell presenting the program on “Christmas Around the World.”

The club project will involve a contest judging Christmas ornaments made from recycled items.

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