The local Kiwanis and Rotary clubs are teaming up again this year to keep the Wreaths Across America program going in Vincennes.
The goal is to place a wreath at the gravesites of all veterans buried in cemeteries across the United States.
Though the placement of the wreaths won’t occur until Dec. 19, organizers hope a visit from the national organization’s Mobile Education Exhibit will inspire patriotism and generosity in local residents.
This Sunday and Monday, as part of the kickoff to this year’s Wreaths Across America campaign, the rolling educational exhibit, one meant to help bring local communities and military service members together through education, stories, and interactive connections, will be right here in Indiana’s oldest city. Event organizer Keith Doades of the local Kiwanis Club said the new exhibit will be an excellent teaching tool. “It will not only explain the Wreaths Across America program, but it also promote patriotism and service and show just how much veterans have done to maintain our freedoms,” he said.
The exhibit is a 1,500-square-foot expandable trailer equipped with interactive touch screen displays, inside and outside video loops about the Wreaths Across America program and mission, as well as a 24-seat theater for guests to view a short patriotic video.
Doades said Wreaths Across America does have pandemic protocol in place, which will encourage things such as social distancing and reduce the number of visitors allowed inside the theater at any given time.
The Mobile Education Exhibit will be at the Indiana Military Museum, 715 S. Sixth St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and again all day on Monday on Patrick Henry Square.
Area food trucks, too, will set up around the square’s perimeter Monday evening.
Local Kiwanis and Rotary club members will be on hand both days with information and order forms for this year’s wreath campaign, culminating on the national wreath distribution day on Dec. 19.
The goal of the local committee is to raise $3,500 — enough funds to place a wreath at the gravesite of all 135 veterans buried in the Vincennes city cemeteries.
In its three previous years, the local group has raised about 65% of that.
Doades hopes this year will be different.
“This is a fundraiser our two clubs do, but it’s more than that — it’s a tribute to the veterans,” he said.
Wreaths can be purchased now through November for $15 each. Order forms are available at Vincennes Water Utilities, 403 Busseron St., or by visiting “Wreaths for Knox County” on Facebook.