Wreaths Across America (WAA) and MISSION BBQ announce that today kicks off the start of the “American Heroes Cup” campaign to raise funds to sponsor veterans’ wreath to be placed on National Wreaths Across America Day in December of 2022.
Through the end of 2021, for every American Heroes Cup purchased at any of the restaurant’s 110 locations, $2 will be donated to WAA. In 2020, MISSION BBQ customers raised $362,320 for WAA through its American Heroes Cup campaign, sponsoring the placement of more than 36,000 veterans’ wreaths in memory of our nation’s veterans – these wreaths will be placed by volunteers at more than 90 participating cemeteries this year on National Wreaths Across America Day – Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021.
“We owe everything to our nation’s veterans, who have risked all that a person can to defend and protect this country,” says Bill Kraus, co-founder of MISSION BBQ. “It’s an honor to provide support to Wreaths Across America in remembering the fallen and thanking military families for their sacrifices.”
Bill Kraus and Steve Newton opened the first MISSION BBQ restaurant in a Baltimore suburb in 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. In opening the restaurant, they sought to Serve, Honor and Thank American heroes for their sacrifices and service by donating a significant portion of the restaurant’s profits to the community’s military non-profit groups and charity organizations that support police officers and firefighters. Since its founding in 2011, MISSION BBQ has opened 109 additional locations in 17 states.
WAA began in 1992 in Harrington, Maine, when the Worcester Wreath Company sought to turn a surplus of 5,000 holiday wreaths into an opportunity to pay tribute to our country’s veterans. With the help of then Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, the company’s owner, Morrill Worcester, arranged for the surplus wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery as a tribute to our country’s veterans. The tradition has continued and over the last 30 years, the event has grown in scope, touching the lives of thousands of veterans’ families and volunteers. In 2020 alone, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers laid over 1.7 million veterans' wreaths at more than 2,500 participating locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.
“Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve and Teach our children about the cost and value of freedom — that is our year-long mission,” adds Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “MISSION BBQ demonstrates this mission in how they conduct business in the communities they serve. Sharing stories of American heroes, treating our nation’s veterans with the dignity and respect they deserve, while teaching the next generation, every day. We are honored to be a program worthy of their support and grateful for their customers who also support this mission.”
American Heroes Cups are available year-round, currently retailing at $3.99 with $2 of every cup purchased donated to a charity supporting veterans and first-responders. Now through December 31, 2021, proceeds from the American Heroes Cups will be donated to WAA. Customers are encouraged to bring back their American Heroes Cup on return visits to the restaurant to receive $.99 refills.