MEIGS COUNTY — Local veterans organizations, youth organizations and community members came together last Saturday to take part in the first Wreaths Across America event held in Meigs County.
The four cemetery locations in Meigs County were part of the 2,557 participating locations nationwide which placed a total of 1.7 million wreaths on the headstones of veterans on Saturday, according to a news release from the Wreaths Across America organization.
The mission of Wreaths Across America is to Remember, Honor and Teach. A ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery, in addition to the thousands of local locations nationwide.
Locally, Wreaths Across America, under the local organization Wreath Adventures, took place at Meigs Memory Gardens, as well as Reedsville Cemetery, Eden Cemetery and Tuppers Plains Cemetery.
Organizer Craig Matheny told Ohio Valley Publishing, that the first program in Meigs County came after first bringing the program to Athens County in 2019. Previously, Matheny had organized nine trips to Washington D.C. with people from all around the region taking part.
Matheny explained that last year he called and decided to bring the program local, with Wreath Adventures representing Athens and Meigs Counties.
“Bringing it back here; God has a way of working in mysterious ways,” said Matheny, noting that doors were opened to allow the program to be brought locally, with funding to purchase the wreaths and volunteers to place them.
In 2019, the group placed 350 wreaths on graves of veterans in Athens County cemeteries, with a total of 1,000 wreaths placed in Athens and Meigs Counties on Saturday. The goal for 2021 is 2,000 wreaths.
Matheny said that he has been asked about adding cemeteries in Letart Falls and Rutland (Miles Cemetery) for 2021, which would add approximately 550 wreaths in Meigs County, as well as adding some in Athens County as well.
The wreaths cost $15 each and are funded through donations.
On Saturday, local teenager Lila Cooper made a $600 donation to the purchase of the 2021 wreaths. The funds donated by Cooper came from the making and selling of earrings. After making the donation, Cooper and her family took part in placing some of the wreaths at Meigs Memory Gardens.
Matheny explained that until Jan. 10, wreaths for next year can be ordered at a buy one get one free promotion, allowing for donations to go twice as far toward the project.
Donations can be made at Farmers Bank by making a deposit in the Wreath Adventures account or by mailing a donation to Wreath Adventures LLC, 504 Four Mile Creek Road Coolville, Ohio 45723. A Facebook fundraiser is also planned.
Organizations taking part in the event on Saturday included Tuppers Plains VFW, American Legion Drew Webster Post 39, American Legion Feeney Bennett Post 128 in Middleport, the Racine American Legion, local Boy Scouts and local Girl Scouts.
For more on Wreath Adventures find them on Facebook or contact Matheny at 740-667-3513.
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