In South Florida, donations for Wreaths Across America are falling short

LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- Donations that would pay for the laying of wreaths on the gravesites of as many as 14,000 veterans at South Florida National Cemetery are falling short, local sponsors of Wreaths Across America said on Thursday.

James King, a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, a local sponsor, said the group needed to raise $140,000 before the end of November to guarantee that a wreath would be laid on every gravesite at the cemetery in suburban Lake Worth.

So far, the group has raised $60,000 -- including contributions from corporate sponsors such as Walmart, King said.

"A lot of people are reluctant to donate so early in the year," King said. "I always tell people, "There is no shame in saying no. But, there is also no shame in donating."

The Patriot Guard Riders brought the national remembrance to  South Florida National Cemetery in 2008.

Every year, 2,700 veterans are interred at the cemetery, Kirk Leopard, a cemetery director said.

The need for donations was expected to grow, Leopard said, as more veterans were laid to rest.

The Patriot Guard Riders said individual wreaths were being sold for $15.

Three wreaths were being sold for $30, the group said.

Donations are being accepted online , King said.

The wreaths will be laid on the gravesites on Saturday, December 14th.

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