BENNINGTON >> A national program established a few years ago in Maine called Wreaths Across America now has a local supporter.

Dwain and Beth Wilwol, owners of The Gift Garden on Main Street in Bennington, learned about the program when Dwain's father Frank, a veteran of The United States Army, died recently and was buried in Saratoga, N.Y. in the Gerald B. Solomon National Cemetery. There are over 13,000 veterans' graves in the cemetery alone, and the goal of Wreaths Across America is to have an evergreen wreath with a red bow on every single grave.

Local co-ordinator Lt. Col. Anita Martin says that last year only 2,000 wreaths made it to Saratoga, allowing only the perimeters to be lined, with most graves unadorned. This program serves cemeteries across the country, and the need for so many wreaths is overwhelming. To help achieve the goal, the Wiliwols intend to step up and make a difference by funding 100 wreaths themselves with the support of thier vendors. Every single wreath donated bears a tag stating simply, "Today I placed a wreath on the grave of an American hero."

For more infromation, go to or call The Gift Garden at 802-447-7222.