Wreaths Across America Sponsor Spotlight: The Fran Haasch Law Group
The Fran Haasch Law Group’s community partnership with Wreaths Across America began in 2010 with a wreath-laying event at the Florida National Cemetery. But Fran’s commitment to remembering and honoring veterans was actually inspired 75 years ago at a refugee camp in Germany.
At the end of WWII, her father, Werner, lived in a refugee camp with his recently widowed mom and three brothers. The family had nothing to eat and fended off starvation by eating grass. One day, a kindhearted American soldier shared his sandwich with a 6-year-old Werner. Now 81, Werner still remembers the gracious gesture that sparked his fondness and respect for veterans -- a value he passed on to Fran.
“Growing up, I remember helping my Dad deliver turkeys around the holidays to homeless veterans and him telling me how important it was for us to support and honor them any way we could,” Fran said.
Decades later, through her work as a Tampa, Fla.-based personal injury attorney, Fran discovered Wreaths Across America.
“They’re a wonderful, family-run organization whose mission is to honor the military and their families. We’re a motorcycle law firm that supports injured bikers, many of whom are veterans. It was the perfect charity for us to partner with,” she said. “We started in 2010 with a wreath-laying ceremony sponsorship ad on the cover of a local rider magazine, and our involvement and support have grown from there.”
Over the last decade, the firm has sponsored more than $100,000 worth of wreaths to place on gravestones - from Arlington National Cemetery to Florida National Cemetery. They’ve also sponsored multiple motorcycle club escort rides to Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg and Sarasota National Cemetery.
“We’ve also taken several different MC groups on tours of the national Wreaths Across America headquarters in Maine,” Fran said. “Many of our current and former clients join us on rides for the chance to recognize active duty military and families and honor their fallen brothers and sisters.”
Additionally, Fran and her husband, Rhett, take the “teach” part of the Wreaths Across America mission to heart by including their three sons in escort rides and wreath-laying events.
“Just as my father instilled in me the importance of remembering and honoring veterans, we want to teach our sons those same values,” Fran said. “It’s so important for younger generations - and future generations - to hear stories and learn about the veterans who fought for the freedoms they enjoy today.”