The Patterson Foundation has contributed a one-time, $50,000 gift to Wreaths Across America at Sarasota National Cemetery. This gift will help provide ceremonial wreaths for the headstones of the veterans laid to rest on the cemetery’s grounds.

Each year, Wreaths Across America brings together people at national cemeteries throughout all 50 states, Puerto Rico and on foreign soil for a day to remember veterans and honor those who serve. During Wreaths Across America ceremonies, volunteers of all ages place donated remembrance wreaths at veteran headstones and grave sites. The Covid-19 pandemic has altered these ceremonies on multiple levels, including wreath donations, with many annual donors facing challenging financial circumstances that impact their ability to give to organizations like Wreaths Across America. In Sarasota-Manatee, Wreaths Across America sought 16,200 donated wreaths for graves at Sarasota National Cemetery.

The Wreaths Across America event at Sarasota National Cemetery will take place this year with several safety modifications. The event, which typically occurs on a single day, will now stretch from Dec. 17 to Dec. 19. All volunteers must register in advance to participate, and gloves, masks and social distancing will be required per the National Cemetery Administration’s Covid-19 guidelines. A community ceremony, typically held at Patriot Plaza to kick off the event, will now take place virtually on Dec. 19.

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