VACAVILLE — Cowboy boots, jeans and cowboy hats were a common sight Saturday evening at the C.C. Yin Ranch as hundreds of people gathered to support the annual Wreath Laying at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon.
Put on by the nonprofit rememberavet.net, Country in the Hills is the beginning of the annual fundraising push for the wreath project, said Remember a Vet’s Susie Stocking.
With a silent auction, a live auction along with a barbecue dinner and dancing to live music, Stocking said she expected around 330 people to show up.
“It’s our third year in a row (with a) sellout, and most of these people are returning from previous years,” Stocking said. “Good food I think.”
As people waited for the food, they perused the auction items – everything from neon beer signs to wine and food baskets to sports memorabilia, including a signed photo of San Francisco 49ers fullback Tom Rathman, a signed bat from Giants first baseman Brandon Belt and a pair of game-used shoes from Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette.
With such a large crowd gathering in the ranch’s gym, Stocking said she hoped to raise around $20,000.
“But we need to buy about 12,000 wreaths this year and that will cost us roughly $96,000,” Stocking said. “It helps. It brings awareness to the project so it’s kind of the kickoff for our fundraising for this year.”
Remember a Vet does just the one fundraiser, but other groups do their own fundraisers and make donations to fill out the budget for the wreaths.
“It’s very well supported. There are so many retirees in this area,” Stocking said. “The veterans really support this.”
This year’s wreath laying is scheduled for Dec. 14, giving the group about three months to get the money together.
“Last year we had over 5,000 people come out to actually lay the wreaths, and there’s 12,000 wreaths,” Stocking said. “It only took about a half-hour, it was incredible.”
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.