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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Project Everlasting Gratitude in its third year - By Michelle Libby

The weather isn’t always perfect, but for Project Everlasting Gratitude, neither snow, nor rain has stopped the Boy and Girl Scouts from putting a small wreath on the grave of every Veteran in Windham. The brainchild of Libby Sawyer at Studio Flora, the project is in its third year. 
“I do it because I want to get involved in the community in a positive way. I love getting the younger generation involved. To see them wiping away the snow and reading the names before placing a wreath, that’s what it’s all about,” Sawyer said. 
In addition to Studio Flora, the project is funded by Sebago Gardens, Little Log Cabin Montessori School and donations from the community. The owners of all three businesses are related by marriage, which makes the project a family affair. The total project is estimated to cost $6,500. 

When it comes time to lay the wreaths, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Windham help locate the over 800 Veteran graves over 24 cemeteries. This year, the Boy and Girl Scout troops from the area will lay the wreaths on Saturday, December 5.

Some of the Veterans are very helpful in locating the cemeteries that are not well known. “Roger Timmons has been a huge help. He looks forward to it,” Sawyer said.  

The wreaths are purchased from a Maine company and Studio Flora adds the bows. Sawyer and some dedicated volunteers make bows until they are all complete. 

“I try to involve as many people as I can,” Sawyer said. “It’s become fun. It’s not really a job. It means a lot to the wives, spouses, and surviving family members of the Veterans.” 

“As a business owner in retail, we’re told that the holiday season is all about profits. We lose what Christmas is all about. It’s not about making money or gifts. The Christmas season is about more than that,” Sawyer said. 

If anyone would like to make a donation to Project Everlasting Gratitude they are encouraged to stop by Studio Flora during business hours.

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