AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A big step was taken on Saturday to ensure that every gravesite at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam will have a remembrance wreath this Christmas.

A fundraiser, hosted by the friends of Elm Belcher Masonic Lodge Saturday, helped realize the success of the upcoming “Wreaths Across America” project later this year.

Supporters of this veterans program literally stepped up to the plate Saturday, picking up their barbecue-to-go dinner. A dinner that pays for the Wreaths they’ll donate at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam a short distance away.

John Stone the Master of the Elm Belcher Masonic Lodge in Agawam told 22News, “It’s important that we recognize and remember the sacrifices, and what they’ve done for our country. And, what we can give back as well.”

The money raised a year ago at this time paid for more than 8,000 wreaths that were placed by family members at veteran’s gravesites at the Memorial Cemetery in Agawam and will be once again one year later during a ceremony on December 17.

“I actually started this thing years ago on my own,” said Committee Co-Chairman Anthony Leroux. “It got so large I had to reach out to the friends, and it snowballed ever since. I’m a veteran, I understand what it is.”

The Springfield area families picking up their barbecue meals were making certain that this “Wreaths Across America” program would have all the money it needs to purchase enough wreaths for every hallowed place a veteran is buried at the Memorial Cemetery.