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The Patterson Foundation Contributes 50,000 Dollar Gift to Wreaths Across America at Sarasota National Cemetery

December 02, 2020
SARASOTA, Fla. (Dec. 2, 2020) – The Patterson Foundation has contributed a one-time $50,000 gift to Wreaths Across America at Sarasota National Cemetery. This gift will strengthen the nonprofit’s mission to provide ceremonial wreaths which will be placed at 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 our veterans, honor those who serve and teach the value of freedom. During Wreaths Across America ceremonies, volunteers of all ages place donated remembrance wreaths at veteran headstones and gravesites. 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, which accepted donations through Dec. 1. In our region, Wreaths Across America sought 16,200 donated wreaths for graves at Sarasota National Cemetery.

“The Patterson Foundation has worked in numerous ways throughout the year to strengthen people, organizations and communities coping with the challenges brought on by the pandemic,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “Wreaths Across America presents an appropriate way to extend that work in honor of our region’s former, current and future service members eligible for a dignified burial at Sarasota National Cemetery. The Patterson Foundation has a long history of honoring their sacrifices on our behalf and has a vested interest in strengthening this annual ceremony that they and their loved ones hold dear.”

Sarasota National Cemetery is home to Patriot Plaza, a 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater designed to honor the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans and military families. The Patterson Foundation funded the $12 million design and construction of Patriot Plaza as a gift to the nation through a partnership with the National Cemetery Administration — the first collaboration between private philanthropy and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on an enhancement of this magnitude at a national cemetery.

Wreaths Across America at Sarasota National Cemetery will take place this year with several modifications to maintain a safe and successful effort. 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.

Visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org for more information on The Patterson Foundation’s efforts to respond to the impact of COVID-19 in our region and beyond. To learn more about Wreaths Across America at Sarasota National Cemetery and opportunities to volunteer for this year’s effort, visit www.sarasotawreaths.com.

About The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations and communities. The Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.

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