Mobility

IOOF Cemetery to host Wreaths across America

by | Apr 20, 2022 | Area news, Latest

Wreaths across America announced last week that the IOOF Cemetery in Farmersville will join the nonprofit’s mission to help citizens Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve and Teach our children the value of Freedom.

The cemetery will be one of 3,100 locations participating in the national nonprofit program that culminates in a special wreath laying ceremony on National Wreaths across America Day Dec. 17 at 11 a.m.

IOOF Board Member Billie Goldstein is leading the cemetery’s effort to support the Wreaths across America program.

Goldstein said she first became interested in the program last year after reading about it in the December 2021 issue of In & Around Magazine https://inaroundmag.com/champions/wreaths-across-america-honors-veterans-2/

The article, combined with the fact that the Goldstein’s family includes many who served or are currently serving, spurred the effort to buy a WAA wreath last year in support of a veteran buried at the Pecan Grove Cemetery in McKinney.

“The veteran was John Stroup, Billie said. “I thought he was related to someone in town.”

 It turned out, she said, that Stroup was killed in action at 20 years old, “and he was the baby brother of Betty Vamvakus,” a Farmersville resident.

“Out of all the graves, I got his name,” she said. “He was on a B-26 and my daddy was killed on a B-26. It was a God thing that’s all it was. It really meant a lot to me at that moment. I felt called to serve and do this.”

While finding veteran graves can be challenging for some cemeteries, Mack Hurst and other IOOF board members recently completed a two-year process of modernizing the grave records using a new electronic ledger.

In the process, Hurst said in an earlier interview, they were able to “identify all the veterans in the cemetery.”

“That’s the only way we could have ever done this,” Goldstein said.

Before the ceremony can happen in December, there is much work to do to get prepared to honor veterans laid to rest at the IOOF Cemetery. The goal for IOOF Lodge 228 is to raise enough funds to place 360 sponsored wreaths on all veterans’ headstones.

Goldstein said Independent Financial Bank is underwriting the signs and location cards for each grave and residents Vickie Bunch and Randy Snyder donated funds for the American flags that will be used to mark graves.

Wreath sponsorships are $15 each or donors can buy two and get a third one free.

“We’ve already sold 84 wreaths,” Goldstein said. “I’m so excited.”

Anyone interested in supporting the inaugural Wreaths across America ceremony at the IOOF Cemetery can do so by sponsoring a wreath or volunteering to help. Visit wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/171234/Overview/?relatedId=150000 or contact Goldstein at 214-868-3485.

0 Comments

Related News

Two file for FISD trustee election

Two file for FISD trustee election

For the next few weeks, candidates and municipalities will work to shape the election landscape this May. Filing opened Wednesday, Jan. 18, and closes at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17. Farmersville voters will head to the polls for both municipal, school district and Collin...

read more
City hires Economic Development Director

City hires Economic Development Director

The city of Farmersville has stepped up its commercial game plan with the addition of its first economic development director. Larry Tucker, the newly hired director, brings over 25 years of experience in the economic development field to the position. “I am honored...

read more
Body of missing woman found

Body of missing woman found

The Collin County Sheriff’s Office located the remains of an individual missing since Jan. 11. Kayla Kelley, 33, was reported missing by friends after several days, according to a Jan. 15 news release from the sheriff’s office. According to a Jan. 19 news release,...

read more
Hiker speaks to Rotarians about 2,800-mile hike

Hiker speaks to Rotarians about 2,800-mile hike

Kinsleigh Sawatsky is a young woman who intends to see as much of this “big world” as she can. She is using her feet to see that world and plans to keep on hiking along thousands of miles of trails through the United States. Sawatsky brought her message of adventure...

read more
Leadership changes announced at FISD

Leadership changes announced at FISD

Farmersville ISD announced three new leadership changes last week that became effective Tuesday, January 17. Tad Myers moved into a new role as the district’s Coordinator of CTE (Career and Technical Education) and Special Projects, Nicole Hicks was named the new...

read more
Veterans