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Christmas Wreath fundraiser underway for Grand Rapids Veterans Cemetery


With record breaking heat this past weekend, it may be hard to believe Christmas is just three months away. The Ottawa-North Kent Blue Star Mothers, however, has already launched a fundraising campaign for the holiday, with the hopes of placing a wreath on every grave at the Grand Rapids Veterans Cemetery in December.  

Currently, Arlington National Cemetery is the only cemetery in the United States that has a wreath placed on every veteran’s gravesite during the holiday season. The Mothers have made it their goal this year to see Grand Rapids Veteran’s Cemetery be the second in the nation to do so.

“It is really important, the Veterans do so much, and they risk their lives," Ottawa-North Kent Blue Star Mothers Jan Vanderwal said. "During the Vietnam era they came back to a lot of negativity. And that’s hurtful. It’s very hurtful the way they were treated,” she said.

There are over 5,500 grave sites at this cemetery that need wreaths. Last year, the Blue Star Mothers had the same goal, but fell short by nearly 2000.

Wreaths are $15 each, and the deadline for donations for this year’s wreath laying is November 17. For those interested in donating, more information can be found at WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.

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