Fundraiser to honor fallen war veterans with wreaths

Published 12:10 pm Thursday, November 3, 2022

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Wreaths Across America (WAA) and MISSION BBQ have announced the Nov. 12 kick-off of the American Heroes Cup” campaign. The fundraiser will generate money for the placement of wreaths on the graves of our nation’s veterans during the National Wreaths Across America Day in December 2023.

A donation of $2 will be donated for every American Heroes Cup purchased at any of MISSION BBQ’s 121 locations through the end of 2022.

During its fundraiser last year, MISSION BBQ customers raised $550,920 for the campaign, sponsoring the placement of more than 36,700 veterans’ wreaths.

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These wreaths will be placed by volunteers at more than 90 participating cemeteries this year on Dec. 17 – National Wreaths Across America Day.

To celebrate the kickoff of this annual campaign, MISSION BBQ’s Clarksville TN restaurant will host the WAA Mobile Education Exhibit as a free public event on Nov 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit serves as a mobile museum, educating visitors about the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes as well as serving as an official ‘welcome home’ station for our nation’s Vietnam Veterans.

“We owe everything to our nation’s veterans, who have risked all that a person can to defend and protect this country,” said Bill Kraus, co-founder of MISSION BBQ. “It’s an honor to provide support to Wreaths Across America in remembering the fallen and thanking military families for their sacrifices.”

Bill Kraus and Steve Newton opened the first MISSION BBQ restaurant in a Baltimore suburb in 2011, during the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. In opening the restaurant, they sought to serve, honor and thank American heroes for their sacrifices and service. The two men continue to do so by donating a significant portion of the restaurant’s profits to the community’s military non-profit groups and charity organizations that support police officers and firefighters. Since its founding in 2011, MISSION BBQ has opened 120 additional locations in 18 states.

Wreaths Across America is the non-profit organization best known for placing wreaths on veterans’ headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. In 2021, the organization placed more than 2.4 million sponsored veterans’ wreaths at over 3,100 participating locations nationwide. The organization’s yearlong mission is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach the next generation the value of freedom.

“MISSION BBQ demonstrates the WAA mission in how they conduct business in the communities they serve,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.  “Sharing stories of American heroes, treating our nation’s veterans with the dignity and respect they deserve while teaching the next generation every day. We are honored to be a program worthy of their support and grateful for their customers who continue to live this mission in their communities across the country.”

American Heroes Cups are available year around, currently retailing at $4.99 with $2 of every cup purchased donated to a charity supporting veterans and first responders.

Now through December 31, 2022, proceeds from the American Heroes Cups will be donated to Wreaths Across America. Customers are encouraged to bring back their American Heroes Cup on return visits to the restaurant to receive $.99 refills.

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