Last year, Sealy High School Interact sponsor Melissa Simms made a commitment to the Sealy Rotary Club to start a local Wreaths Across America event. With the help of Student Council sponsors Leslie Pacher and Val Goad and National Honor Society sponsor Stephanie Novicke, wreaths were placed on 213 graves at the Immaculate Conception Church cemetery in Sealy on Dec. 15.
“My commitment to Rotary stemmed from being inspired when Interact tagged along with Student Council and NHS at the Houston WAA event,” Simms said. “If they hadn’t agreed to work together on the project, it wouldn’t have been able to happen.”
Paul Dronka of the Sealy Rotary was also instrumental in the event coming to fruition, having taken on the task of combing through historical records to identify all of the veterans buried in the cemetery. Cortni Breman, Sealy Rotary President, volunteered to make sure the ceremony was registered as an official WAA sanctioned event.
On the cold, bright morning of the ceremony, the Sealy Assembly No. 2103 Fourth Degree Sir Knights, including Dustin Konesheck, Joe Lemos, Clifford Molloy, Larry Kana and Joe J. Marusik, presented the colors, and Paul Dronka ran the ceremony. Sealy High School students Javier Alvarez, Diari Dabney, Maddie Goad and Ryley Schack led the pledge, followed by Mayah Star Light, Adriana Duron and Trinity Hall singing the National Anthem.
To honor each branch of the military and MIA/POWs, wreaths were placed by Bob Beachboard, Joe Kovar, Lou Cox and Lenore Dronka.
Before the laying of the wreaths, the ceremony was concluded by SHS band members James Statham and Matthew Mlcak who played Echo Taps.
The organizers would like to thank everyone who donated money to purchase the wreaths. Those donating 10 or more wreaths include: the American Legion, Sealy Rotary Club, Energy Corridor Rotary Club, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Investment Recovery Corporation and the Interact club. Many SISD faculty and staff members and community members and their families also contributed to meet the goal of 213 wreaths.
Simms said the historical records are already being compiled to hopefully expand the program in this area in the future.