Applebee’s of Hinesville has earned a reputation for community involvement, particularly in its support of military families.
On Wednesday, Wreaths 4 Warriors Walk officers accepted a $6,454 check from Applebee’s of Hinesville general manager Ceasar Walker. In turn, W4WW President Tony Justi presented a plaque to Walker and his staff.
The community apparently responded generously to the restaurant’s fundraising efforts this summer for Christmas wreaths to be placed along Fort Stewart’s Warriors Walk on Dec. 10, W4WW Vice President Bruce Muncher said.
In the summer of 2010, Applebee’s held three pancake breakfasts to raise funds to help build a home for wounded warrior Staff Sgt. Jason Letterman, who served with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart. The local eatery, along with other area businesses and organizations, also has supported W4WW.
“Yes, we actually are trying to do fundraising year-round. We have already had a ‘Give Back Night with Chili’s’ and then the ‘Macy’s Shopping for a Cause’ and the recent poker run,” Muncher said. “Applebee’s kicked off their fundraising on July 6 and did an amazing job. We also have been accepted into the Combined Federal Campaign this year, and Tony and I were at the CFC Kickoff at Stewart and Hunter.”
Muncher said he soon will be pounding the pavement to generate more donations.
“The ceremony is only eight weeks away,” he said.
The cost to sponsor a wreath is $15.
Warriors Walk is a memorial on Fort Stewart that borders Cottrell Field on two sides and consists of three sidewalks and more than 435 eastern redbud trees. Each tree represents a 3rd ID soldier who died in the line of duty, most in Iraq and Afghanistan. A granite marker identifies each soldier. Family and friends may visit the memorials and leave flowers, photographs or mementos.
W4WW is a local nonprofit organization comprised of Fort Stewart employees, veterans and local volunteers. The group, founded in 2007, places holiday wreaths at the base of each tree on Warriors Walk. Crowds of family members and battle buddies of fallen soldiers attend the annual wreath-laying ceremony, which coincides with the national wreath-laying ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery.
To sponsor a wreath and pay online using PayPal, go to www.w4ww.org or send a check payable to Wreaths for Warriors Walk, c/o Anthony Justi, P.O. Box 3533, Fort Stewart, Ga., 31315. For more information, email email@example.com.