SUISUN CITY — “We are out here to support the community and the Support Committee that helps with official ceremonies at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon,” said Frank Romo, president of the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Support Committee.
The 3rd Annual Jingle in July Walk-a-Thon brought out a small group of dedicated walkers for the four-hour fundraiser at the Suisun City waterfront on Saturday. Some groups walked together and individuals walked for themselves or for friends.
Woody Carnahan walked in honor of his best friend Ernie Thibedean.
“Ernie was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He saw action in France, Germany and the Middle East. We actually didn’t serve together, but met at the athletic club on Dover Avenue in Fairfield about 16 years ago. He had some stories,” Carnahan said.
Ernie died in 2012 at the age of 87 after battling cancer.
“I used to take him to chemo when he lost feeling in his feet. He was a great guy,” Carnahan said.
Jingle in July helps provide funding for the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Committee, whose mission it is to honor veterans buried at the national cemetery in Dixon.
“The wreaths and decorations that go on the graves at the national cemetery are not provided by the federal government, so the Support Committee raises funds to decorate the graves of veterans,” said Sally Holcombe, secretary of the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Support Committee.
“We are so happy to be at the Suisun waterfront because this is a great place to hold the walk-a-thon. Suisun City has just been wonderfully helpful about the whole thing,” she said.
This year the Support Committee estimates that they will raise between $1,300 to $1,500 in donations.
“Each day we bury anywhere from 15 to 18 veterans at the cemetery. We are one of the few cemeteries that puts wreaths on each grave every December and Memorial Day,” Holcombe said.
Local businesses also sponsored this event by providing music, food and beverages for the walkers.
“Walmart has been a huge provider of wreaths every year. They do a lot for our veterans,” Holcombe said.
Future plans for fundraising include a steak dinner in October, according to Holcombe.
They are hoping for a bigger turnout next year, but they want to remind people that donations are accepted all year through their website at www.svncsc.org.
For more information, contact the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Vice President Kathy Watson at 510-234-1776.
Reach Susan Hiland at 427-6981 or [email protected]