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Local Students want you to “Flag A Friend!”
Grand Canyon FFA members have been eagerly raising funds for the Wreaths Across America program at the Wellsboro Cemetery again this year. This program, chaired by Natasha Maddox, is in its 4th year and she is excited about its growth.
Natasha has been in charge of the program for the past three years and it has had some struggles with COVID challenges, but this year is having its best year yet. Natasha has created some unique fundraising opportunities for the program including raising a pig and raffling off the meat with processing sponsored by a local butcher shop. She also completed an “Egg my Yard” fundraiser in April to help children celebrate Easter, and raise funds.
Natasha’s most recent fundraiser is called Flag a Friend. With this fundraiser, someone can pay a donation to Wreaths Across America to have their yard “flagged” where an FFA member will come and place a sign, similar in size to a campaign sign that says “You’ve Been Flagged” along with a small number of American flags, for about a week. The person who has been “flagged” can pay a donation to Wreaths Across America to have the flags removed early. This patriotic and festive activity can be fun with neighbors and friends and show community support for Wreaths Across America.
Currently, Natasha will be coordinating this fundraiser through Wreaths Across America day on December 17th, 2022 – or as long as the weather permits this fall. She will restart the fundraiser in the spring. She will “flag” anywhere within the Wellsboro School District, and both personal homes or businesses can be flagged. If someone wants to participate, they can sign up on this form: https://forms.gle/SL6k447yN9Xp5HVJ8 or by contacting Melanie Berndtson at email@example.com.
Natasha and the Grand Canyon FFA Wreaths Across America Committee is also busily preparing for Wreaths Across America day on December 17th 2022. This day is dedicated to remembering veterans and laying wreaths on the graves of veterans in cemeteries around the United States to thank them for their service and make sure they continue to be celebrated.
This year, our cemetery has 583 wreaths sponsored as of today. November 29th 2022 is the cutoff date for donations for this year but any last minute donations can be provided online at: https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/162919 Any donations that are received after this date will be applied to next year’s wreaths.
The Wreaths Across America ceremony and wreath laying will take place at Noon at the flagpole in the Wellsboro Cemetery on December 17th. The community and public are invited to attend and participate in the ceremony and the wreath laying. If anyone has questions about the ceremony, or the program. They can contact FFA advisor, Melanie Berndtson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natasha is a senior this year, and will be passing on this service project for another student to manage, but this project has made a tremendous impact on her throughout her high school time. She has learned many stories of veterans and the sacrifices they have made. She has also learned the community impact of a service project such as this. Natasha took this project on initially to help honor her father and grandfather who are both veterans but it has opened her eyes to the tremendous impact of veterans everywhere and how we are all connected to veterans that have sacrificed for our freedom. She hopes that she has helped other students and community members become aware of the impact of veterans through this project as well.