Volunteers needed to collect wreaths from ‘Wreaths Across America’ event

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:21 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Veterans Cemetery in Fernley has a light coat of snow on it. The sun is shining and there are wreaths decorating every single grave. That’s more than 8,000.

It’s all a result of the annual “Wreaths Across America” event last year on December 17, 2022.

“It’s just a great thing to participate in,” says Tom Draughon with Nevada Veterans Coalition. “We’ve been placing wreaths out here since 2007.”

Draughon says it is now time to remove the wreaths.

He is asking for volunteers to gather this Friday January 27th at 8:30 to help out. The cold weather has meant some of the wreaths are frozen to the gravesite, but he says they will make do.

There is no orchestrated effort, just a desire to help clear the graves. Just about anyone can do it.

“We’ve had some ladies a wagon and they fill that up and pack them off,” says Draughon.

Wreaths will be taken to the front of the cemetery, where trucks and trailers will be standing by.

Where do the decorations go?

One local woman takes the bows for crafting. The wreaths themselves stay in the area thanks to one coalition member.

About 8 years ago Roger Elliott had an idea. Instead of paying $2,000 dollars to Waste Management, couldn’t local animals benefit?

“These are quite the snacks for the goats and sheep and llamas,” says Elliott.

The rest is history.

The Veterans Cemetery in Fernley is one of the few if not the only “Wreaths Across America” participant with a completely recyclable program.