Wreath fundraiser update

Just one month ago while still looking for a Family, Career and Community Leaders of America STAR project, Pekin senior standout Maci Gambell received a call from her maternal grandfather that included a suggestion: Raise money for the nearly 600 wreaths needed to honor every veteran in six cemeteries in Keokuk and Jefferson counties this December on National Wreaths Across America Day.

Since its inception in 2007, 1.2 million wreaths have been laid across the nation, but no one locally was currently participating before Maci. As of Tuesday evening, Gambell had raised enough to purchase 415 wreaths, with 165 more needed during this final week of fundraising.

The Gambells are hoping for a big push at the ?Pride Game? this Friday night when they host Fairfield. If you want to donate, you can either do so at the game Friday, or drop off or mail your donation to the Pekin High School in care of Christy Gambell.

Interesting enough, the program began when a wreath maker had extra product and decided they would be better served laid at graves at Arlington National Cemetary in Virginia, and now the project aims to honor veterans while educating the public on the sacrifices those soldiers have made.

Maci?s mother Christy said one Pekin fifth-grader donated 30 dollars from his piggy bank so it sounds like the project?s purpose is working here locally.

For more information, visit or for questions, email Maci Gambell at