Or sponsor a Specific Cemetery or Local Sponsorship Group

What are the awards?

Learn Award Miles Learn

Break down of each award:

Remember Award: Given annually to an individual or group who REMEMBERS the fallen and their sacrifice in a way that goes above and beyond.

Honor Award: Given annually to an individual or group who HONORS those who serve and their families in a way that supports the Wreaths Across America mission.

Teach Award: Given annually to an individual or group who has made a large contribution in TEACHING the next generation to Remember and Honor those who serve in our nation’s military.

Learn Award: Given annually to a young individual who has learned, and understands, the Wreaths Across America mission and incorporates it into their young life.

Jim Prout Spirit of Giving Award: Named in memory of James Prout, owner of Blue Bird Ranch Trucking of Jonesboro, Maine. Prout was the first person to volunteer to haul wreaths to Arlington when the program was in its infancy. The Award is given annually to a deserving professional truck driver or carrier that has supported charitable causes in a way that will positively affect generations to come.

Founders Award: Chosen by Wreaths Across America Founder Morrill Worcester, this award is presented to an individual or group who exemplifies the mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach, and shows active support of our nation’s military and veterans.

(NEW) Chief Janine Roberts Leadership Award: Presented in its inaugural year (2020) to Janine Roberts for her unwavering service to the community, Wreaths Across America, and her ability to take the reins for the mission time and time again. Moving forward, Wreaths Across America will present this award to a member of the law enforcement/first responder community across the country who exemplifies the same character and dedication to service as Chief Roberts.


What is the selection process for choosing recipients?

Each of the Remember, Honor, and Teach Awards are chosen from recommendations or nominations from our volunteers and staff and is decided on by the Executive Leadership Team.

The Learn Award is chosen based on nominations submitted by volunteers and the general public and beginning in 2022, the winner will be chosen by a committee of Gold Star Mothers, led by our TEACH Curriculum Developer Cindy Tatum.

The Jim Prout Spirit of Giving Award is chosen by the WAA Logistics Team based on recommendations/nominations from professional drivers, volunteers, and staff.

The Founder’s Award is chosen by the Worcester family (with final sign off from our Founder, Morrill Worcester).

The Chief Janine Roberts Leadership Award will be chosen from recommendations or nominations from volunteers and the public and decided on by a LEO committee lead by WAA LEO Liaison Janine Roberts.


2023 Award Recipients

Remember Award
Remember Award

On Saturday, July 29, as part of its 10th Annual Stem to Stone event, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) recognized Patricia A. Jones of Cannelton, Ind., as the seventh recipient of the organization’s annual REMEMBER Award. This award is given semi-annually to an individual or group who Remembers the fallen and their sacrifice in a way that goes above and beyond.

WAA’s Director of Locations and Groups, Julie Bright, who chaired the selection committee, spoke about Ms. Jones’ community efforts at the nonprofit’s annual weekend event held in the Downeast region of Maine, where it is headquartered.

 “We try to take time each year to honor those special individuals and organizations who commit personal time, action and intention in remembering our nation’s fallen heroes,” said Bright. “National Wreaths Across America Day is an event, but Wreaths Across America has a year-round mission. It is the heartfelt efforts of individuals like Patricia who make our mission to Remember, Honor, Teach their personal mission and help share the stories of the people who have served and sacrificed for our freedoms.”

Ms. Jones is the executive director of the local Cannelton Food Pantry and is a granddaughter, daughter, wife, and mother of United States Veterans. Fifteen years ago, her tireless commitment to our nation’s veterans commenced a personal gravesites photography and documentation effort for the Find-Grave website. Ten years ago, she attended gravestone restoration classes and has since cleaned and repaired countless gravestones. She, along with the help of her grandson, has located, marked, and documented ‘lost’ cemeteries. She has placed memorials and plaques on veteran graves and places flags and flowers in celebration of their service on related holidays. Ms. Jones also spearheads the Wreaths Across America program in her community.

“It’s always wonderful to spend time working on behalf of our nation’s veterans,” said Ms. Jones. “Thank you to everyone that I have worked with and volunteered with over the years. I am humbled to receive this award and will continue to be committed to helping remember all those who served. Thank you to Wreaths Across America and our nation’s veterans!”

Honor Award
Honor Award

On Saturday, July 29, as part of its 10th Annual Stem to Stone event, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) recognized Nancy Fritcher of Baldwinsville, N.Y., as the ninth recipient of the organization’s annual HONOR Award. This award is given semi-annually to an individual or group who HONORS those who serve and their families in a way that supports the Wreaths Across America mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.

WAA Chairman of the Board Wayne Hanson, who chaired the selection committee, spoke about Mrs. Fritcher’s community efforts at the nonprofit’s annual weekend event held in the Downeast region of Maine, where it is headquartered.

“We try to honor special individuals and organizations who are committed to honoring our nation’s fallen heroes,” said Hanson. “National Wreaths Across America Day is an event, but Wreaths Across America is a year-round mission. It is the heartfelt efforts of individuals like Nancy, who make it their personal mission to serve those who have sacrificed for our freedoms.”

Nancy has been a strong supporter of WAA, a teacher of the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach, and an active participant in the program at Woodlawn Cemetery for many years. In previous years, as a Girl Scout troop leader, Nancy led two of her cadets to earn the Girl Scout Silver Award. The scouts researched and taught about the four Medal of Honor Recipients buried at Woodlawn Cemetery while cleaning headstones and preparing QR-coded information about these veterans. The scouts presented to the public during a WAA Mobile Education event. In teaching about their service, she also taught her scouts the importance of remembering their families that often are left at home worrying about their loved ones.

In that spirit, this past year, she put together a surprise for a military mom by reuniting her with her Navy and Marine sons after the passing of her husband. As a result of her thoughtful efforts, this family was able to spend the holidays together. Nancy truly embodies the WAA mission.

“It’s always wonderful to spend time working on behalf of our nation’s veterans,” said Mrs. Fritcher. “Thank you to everyone that I have worked with and volunteered with over the years. I am humbled to receive this award and will continue to be committed to helping Honor our great nation’s veterans. Thank you to Wreaths Across America and our nation’s veterans!”

Learn Award
Learn Award

On Saturday, July 29, as part of its 10th Annual Stem to Stone event, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) recognized 13-year-old Zackariah VanGilder of Morgantown, W.Va., as the sixth recipient of the organization’s semi-annual LEARN Award. This award is given to a young individual who has learned, and understands, the WAA mission and incorporates it into their life and demonstrates that learning through action.

Zackariah was presented the LEARN Award by WAA Curriculum Developer, Cindy Tatum, who chaired the selection committee, at the nonprofit’s annual weekend event held in the Downeast region of Maine, where it is headquartered.

“We try to honor members of the next generation who demonstrate their understanding of the sacrifices made by our nation’s fallen heroes,” said Tatum, who is also a Gold Star Mother. “Wreaths Across America is a year-round mission carried out by individuals of all ages who help share the stories of those who sacrificed for our freedoms – this award was designed for focus on those youth who are making an impact every day and finding a way to serve their communities.”

Zackariah has faithfully devoted the last eight years to the WAA mission. He has served in every capacity from trash collection and clean-up to learning to play taps on the saxophone. His enthusiasm for the program coupled with his leadership by example, has helped to create a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

When asked, “what does Wreaths Across America mean to you?” Zackariah said, “It means a way of giving back. Veterans are brave enough to give their life for our freedom, so helping to honor them means so much to me. I think all veterans should be respected and honored for their sacrifice for our freedom and our country. I’m grateful for getting this award, but it’s something I feel we should do without getting awards. We all should be giving back! Thank you to Wreaths Across America to giving back to our veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

Teach Award
Teach Award

On Saturday, July 29, as part of its 10th Annual Stem to Stone event, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) recognized Cathy Pagano of Woodland Park, N.J., as the ninth recipient of the organization’s annual TEACH Award. This award is given semi-annually to an individual or group who has made a large contribution in TEACHING the next generation to Remember and Honor those who serve in our nation’s military.

Ms. Pagano was presented the TEACH award by Susan Patten, Development and Communications Coordinator for the WAA Teach Program, who chaired the selection committee at the nonprofit’s annual weekend event held in the Downeast region of Maine, where it is headquartered.

“We try to honor those who commit to teaching the next generation about our nation’s fallen heroes,” said Patten. “Cathy has made the WAA mission her personal mission. We are so grateful for the work she does every day to help us TEACH the next generation the value of freedom.”

Cathy Pagano retired after 40 years of serving as a history teacher. Since her retirement, she has continued to organize the patriotic programs at Passaic County Technical-Vocational Schools (PCTVS), as well as in Passaic County and her Woodland Park community, by focusing on its youth. Her community work revolves around teaching students the importance of respecting and honoring our nation’s veterans.

“It’s always an honor to teach the next generation,” said Pagano. “Thanks to everyone that offered me the opportunity to contribute to this teaching program. I am humbled to think that one day future generations will understand the value of our shared freedom and pass that understanding along to the next generation thanks to this program. Many thanks to Wreaths Across America, our nation’s service members, veterans, and the Gold Star Families.”

Chief Janine Roberts' Leadership Award
Chief Janine Roberts' Leadership Award

On Saturday, July 29, as part of its 10th Annual Stem to Stone event, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) recognized Ofc. Kevin Haley of Portland, Maine, as the second recipient of the organization’s Chief Janine Roberts’ Leadership Award. This award is given to a law enforcement/first responder member who exemplifies unwavering service to their community and dedication to WAA’s year-round mission to Remember, Honor, Teach. 

Officer Haley was presented the Leadership Award by Janine Roberts, Chief of Police Westbrook, Maine, (retired) and Law Enforcement Liaison for WAA, for whom the award was created in 2020.

“We want to honor those who choose to serve their community in more ways than one,” said Roberts. “Kevin serves as a police officer but also lives the mission to Remember, Honor, Teach every day through his dedication to his community. His list of admirable attributes is extensive, and anyone who knows him has been impacted by his compassion and authenticity. He has been a friend and colleague for more than 20 years, and it is truly an honor to recognize him for his continued service.”

Ofc. Haley serves as a member of the WAA Board of Directors. He has been a police officer with the City of Portland for the last 27 years and an athletic coach (now retired) for the Cheverus High School Swimming & Diving Team for the past 32 years. Since his initial WAA involvement in 2008, he has taken numerous students and members of the law enforcement and first responder community to Arlington National Cemetery to volunteer to lay wreaths. He is also a Gold Star Brother; William ‘Billy’ Patrick Haley, E-9 MSGT, is laid to rest at Arlington.

“Thank you is just not enough,” said Ofc. Haley. “Wreaths Across America has brought people together to remember that we owe our freedom to veterans and currently serving military members. I am honored to share the mission with my family and our community.”

This year, National Wreaths Across America Day will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023. It is a free event, open to all people. Click here to find a local participating cemetery near you to support. For more information or to find a participating cemetery near you, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

James Prout Spirit of Giving Award
James Prout Spirit of Giving Award

On Saturday, July 29, as part of its 10th Annual Stem to Stone event, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) recognized J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., headquartered in Lowell, Ark., as the seventh recipient of the organization’s James Prout Spirit of Giving Award. Company representatives were presented the award by the WAA Transportation Team at the nonprofit’s annual weekend event held in the Downeast region of Maine, where it is headquartered.

The James Prout Spirit of Giving Award is named in memory of James Prout, owner of Blue Bird Ranch Trucking of Jonesboro, Maine. Prout was the first person to volunteer to haul wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery when the program was in its infancy. The award is given semi-annually to a deserving professional truck driver, company or organization that has supported charitable causes in a way that will affect generations to come.

J.B. Hunt has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation’s fallen heroes, and WAA’s mission is very much a part of that legacy. The company plays a critical role in hauling sponsored wreaths across the country. In 2022, J.B. Hunt handled 42 shipments, of which 32 were intermodal loads. These loads were shipped to the West Coast via rail, helping WAA save on over-the-road load capacity and cost. In addition to J.B. Hunt donating their services for the intermodal loads, they were instrumental in securing support from BNSF and Norfolk Southern.

“This will be J.B. Hunt’s 10th consecutive year to participate in Wreaths Across America, and each year it sparks a lot of excitement among our employees,” said Brad Hicks, executive vice president of Highway Services and People at J.B. Hunt. “Supporting our veterans is a privilege, and it’s important that we remember their sacrifices made to preserve our freedoms. We are very humbled to receive this special recognition from Wreaths Across America and look forward to continuing this tradition.”

The trucking industry is vital in helping WAA move the mission to more than 4,000 participating locations across the country each December.

“Without the transportation community and companies like J.B. Hunt, who provide generous donations of time, equipment and services, our mission simply would not be possible,” said Karen Worcester, Executive Director of WAA. “The work that our Honor Fleet partners do year-round encourages new participation and support for the mission, not only in their organization but in the industry. They are true friends, for which we are grateful.”

This year, National Wreaths Across America Day will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023. It is a free event, open to all people. To support a cemetery near you, click here and type in your town and/or state. For more information about WAA, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.


Meet Wreaths Across America's Past Awardees

Congratulations to all the award recipients
Founders Award
  • Morrill Worcester – inaugural award presented to him from Worcester family
  • Jim Prout - Blue Bird Ranch Trucking
  • Jack Metzler - former superintendent of Arlington
  • Maine State Society
  • Walmart Transportation
  • Barry Pottle - Pottle Transportation
  • Sir Stanley Wojtusik - Survivor of the Battle of the Bulge, former WAA Board Member
  • Dr. John Winkin
  • Scott deMasi - Wreaths Across America - Houston
  • Civil Air Patrol
  • Capt. John Williams
  • Galen Cole - Cole’s Museum
  • Senator Olympia Snowe (ret)
  • FedEx
  • Peter Cancro – Owner, Jersey Mike’s Subs
  • Carter Beard - Annin Flag Makers
  • Dominion Power - Accepted by Robert Doniel
  • James Varhegyi - Viral photo of Arlington National Cemetery
  • 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)
  • Mission BBQ Founders - Bill Krause and Steve Newton
  • CHEVY New England
  • Don Queeney, Hampton Roads Moving & Storage and Mobile Education Exhibit Volunteer
  • Mrs. Nancy Willey, Retired schoolteacher and longtime WAA Museum Historian
  • The United States of America 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War
Morrill Brady LEARN