Wreaths Across America


Roman Martin

As I write this, we have moved into fall and are looking forward to Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas. But let us pause and add one more date in this series – Wreaths Across America Day, December 15, 2018. On that date at approximately 8:30 a.m., we will place a wreath on each grave in remembrance of that person’s service. You are invited to participate and assist in the ceremony followed by a wreath-laying ceremony honoring all six military services at Valley of the Sun Cemetery, 10940 E. Chandler Heights Road.

We take that day to Remember, Honor and Teach in the tradition of Arlington National Cemetery. We hope to place a wreath on each of the 2,700 graves of veterans interred at Valley of the Sun. We have participated in this tradition for the past four years, increasing the number of placements each year. Last year, we were able to place the wreaths on approximately 1,600 graves. This year, it is the aim of Chandler Elks Lodge #2429 and The Exchange Club of Chandler to obtain sponsorships for all 2,700 graves.

Wreaths Across America and Chandler Elks Lodge are both 501(c)3 entities, and your sponsorships are fully tax deductible. Cost of sponsoring one wreath is $15. A portion of that sponsorship is returned to the Elks Lodge to support our veterans’ charitable activities which includes Mary Ellen’s Place and the James Walton Home which are halfway homes for veterans who are returning to the community and in need of support. This year, we have added “Boots in the House,” a relatively new charity that addresses the needs of military families here in Chandler. Many times, those families have spouses who have been recalled to serve and need the support of a community organization like ours.

Committees within the Elks Lodge provide meals for those veterans in need and shopping trips for families at Christmas time to provide a period of happiness in their homes. Our volunteers work to provide health necessities and clothing for any veteran in need.

Sponsorship forms can also be obtained by contacting Nancy Espy at 480-202-0181 or Roman Martin at 602-330-1906.

Thank you for your past support. We look forward to hearing from you and your assistance in meeting our goals this year.