Oakhurst Dairy Donates Transportation Services to Wreaths Across America
PORTLAND, MAINE — Dec. 4, 2012 — For the second consecutive year, Oakhurst Dairy, northern New England’s largest independent family-owned dairy company, will donate transportation services to Wreaths Across America (WAA). The Maine-based non-profit organization coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies on National Wreaths Across America Day each December in support of its mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, Dec.15, 2012.
This year, Oakhurst will deliver approximately 5,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. Wreaths Across America continues to work toward honoring every veteran buried at Arlington National Cemetery by placing a remembrance wreath at each headstone — more than 250,000 in total. This year, the organization estimates it will place 130,000 wreaths at Arlington. Prior to the journey to Arlington National Cemetery, the Oakhurst Dairy Wreaths Across America truck will visit local schools and Veterans’ homes throughout the state to help raise awareness for WAA’s mission.
“Without the support of companies like Oakhurst that donate their time, equipment and transportation services, an event of this caliber would not be possible,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “Through their donation Oakhurst is helping to make our mission to Remember every fallen solider, Honor their sacrifice, and Teach the next generation the cost of freedom, a reality. We are so grateful for their continued support and enthusiasm.”
Last year as part of the company’s sponsorship, Oakhurst Dairy created a dedicated trailer design to honor the WAA mission. This year, the design has been extended to the tractor. Additionally because the trip to Arlington is so memorable, Oakhurst had its Information Services Team develop and integrate technology inside the tractor cab this year that will allow its employees, customers and the general public to experience the journey. The special technology system delivers live video stream using a dashboard camera and GPS data from the moving truck. The truck’s position will be displayed in real-time on a map viewable in a standard web browser. Images and video during the journey and once the truck reaches its destination in Arlington National Cemetery can be accessed and viewed via a dedicated Oakhurst website at http://waa.oakhurstdairy.com/.
“We are honored to support Wreaths Across America again this year in its annual effort to honor the many fallen heroes and their families who have sacrificed so much in defense of our country’s freedom,” said Paul Connolly, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Oakhurst Dairy. “We thank the Worcester Wreath Company, a great Maine business, for its dedication to this important mission and we are excited to share the journey to Arlington with all of our New England families.”
Oakhurst Dairy has selected Carl Phillips and his wife, Marcena, of Gorham to drive the company’s Wreaths Across America truck to Arlington and deliver the wreaths again this year. Carl served in the Navy in the 1970s and is now the owner of Phillips and Sons Body Shop, which supports Oakhurst Dairy’s truck and trailer fleet with recovery and towing, as well as bodywork repairs and painting. The couple’s oldest son, Russell, is a 20-year Oakhurst employee and he has spent numerous hours preparing the tractor for this year’s trip.
“After participating last year, it means even more to me to be a part of it this year,” said Carl Phillips, Oakhurst Dairy Wreaths Across America driver. “This journey is a chance to thank all who have served our country, especially those who have given their lives.”
The wreath-laying effort began in 1992 when Morrill Worcester of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, donated 5,000 evergreen wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. In 2007, the Worcester Family founded the non-profit organization, Wreaths Across America. Today, the annual week-long pilgrimage from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery is known as the world’s largest veterans parade. This year, Wreaths Across America will distribute wreaths to more than 800 locations across the United States, including 35 veterans cemeteries in Maine and New Hampshire, and overseas for ceremonies to honor America’s fallen soldiers and their families on National Wreaths Across America Day. In total, nearly 400,000 wreaths will be delivered.
Visit the Oakhurst Dairy Facebook page to experience the journey: www.facebook.com/OakhurstDairy.
To sponsor a wreath or make a donation visit: http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/store/
About Oakhurst Dairy
Oakhurst is northern New England’s truly local brand that consumers trust for their milk. As the region’s largest independent family-owned dairy company, the Bennett family has stood behind every glass of Oakhurst milk and dairy product for more than 90 years. And Oakhurst is committed to the health and well being of the community and the environment in which it operates. Annually, Oakhurst contributes 10% of profits to local organizations through its Living Natural Goodness program to support healthy kids and a healthy environment – just another reason to choose Oakhurst, The Natural Goodness of Maine. For more information, visit www.oakhurstdairy.com.