On Saturday, December 13, volunteers and family members of Alacriant Inc. placed wreaths at 5,300 graves at the cemetery as part of the annual Wreaths Across America event.  Worldwide, 700,000 wreaths were placed at veterans’ graves.

Wreaths For Western Reserve solicits donations from veterans groups and other organizations to pay for the wreaths. Also, family and friends of veterans buried at the cemetery buy wreaths through the group.

The volunteer effort for the local event, Wreaths For Western Reserve, began at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 13, and was followed by a ceremony at noon. The keynote speaker was Jason Kaufmann of the Ohio Civil Air Patrol.

Representing Alacriant at the ceremony were: Michael Taylor, Rick Scheel, Bob Klusty, Zech Paul, Derek Lohr, Toni Williams, and Susan Lass. When the group arrived at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery at about 10:15am that Saturday, it was very cold and slightly snowy, but the weather did not stop the hundreds of people who came out to show their respect. Rick Scheel’s father, a four-year veteran of the Air Force, is buried in the cemetery were the wreaths were laid.

Toni Williams said, “Seeing all of the volunteers and the amount of wreaths placed was a very heartwarming experience. It was an honor to be able to give back just a little bit for those who have served and for the families that have endured.“

At the end of the two hour event, the representatives of NEOPAT and Alacriant laid more than 200 wreaths. Other volunteers on behalf of Alacriant were: Elise Taylor, Cheryl Paul, Terry Cooper.