SOUTH THOMASTON — The South Thomaston Lions Club are on a big mission this year. Their goal is to raise enough money to decorate 131 veteran graves at Village Cemetery in South Thomaston with wreaths. Their program is part of Wreaths Across America.
Treasurer Jeff Northgraves estimates there are another 100 veterans graves at Oceanside Cemetery and other smaller cemeteries in town. Ideally the Lions would like to decorate all veterans' graves in town. Any extra wreaths purchased will go to decorating other veterans graves in town.
Don Grinnell, Jr., who has participated in several Wreaths Across America events, spoke to the Lions Club.
“He got us so inspired, we decided to get some wreaths up this way,” said Lion Ann Smith, in a Lions Club news release.
The Lions have raised part of the money needed by selling one hotdog at a time, every Wednesday night since Memorial Day, at their stand overlooking the Weskeag River. The stand will be closing for the season on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
They will reopen the hotdog stand on weekends during their Christmas tree sales starting Nov. 25. They will be open Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 17. As of September 20, the Lions have raised enough money to purchase 60 wreaths.
Donations to the Lions cause can be made on the Wreath Across America website at http://wreathsacrossamerican.org/MESTOV .
The cost of a wreath is $17. For every three wreaths purchased, Wreaths Across America will donate one.
On Dec. 16, the Lions will hold a wreath laying ceremony at Village Cemetery.
The Lions Club gave out five $1,000 scholarships last year to graduates of Oceanside High School and Mid Coast School of Technology. Monies raised came from the hotdog stand and tree sales. They also collect used glasses, cellphones and hearing aids, and provide vision screening test to area children at no charge. They will be holding a screening Saturday, Sept. 30, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the South Thomaston Library.
The Lions meet in the basement of the South Thomaston municipal building on the first and third Tuesdays.