NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Wreaths Across America (WAA) today recognized Pilot Flying J’s Wendy Hamilton as the third recipient of the organization’s annual James Prout/WAA Spirit of Giving Award.
Karen and Morrill Worcester, executive director and founder of WAA, respectively, presented Hamilton with the award at the 2017 Annual Truckload Carriers Association Convention, taking place here this week.
The James Prout/WAA Spirit of Giving Award is named in memory of James Prout, owner of Blue Bird Ranch Trucking of Jonesboro, Maine — WAA’s home state. Prout was the first person to volunteer to haul wreaths for WAA when the program was in its infancy. The award is given annually to a deserving professional truck driver, company or organization that has supported charitable causes in a way that will affect generations to come.
Hamilton is a senior manager of sales and marketing at Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America whose core customer base is truck drivers. Hamilton was introduced to Wreaths Across America by a colleague in 2010 and has since worked to make Pilot Flying J a significant corporate sponsor of the organization.
“When I heard about the idea of Wreaths Across America, I fell in love with the concept of honoring our military,” Hamilton said. “I am honored to receive the Spirit of Giving Award and will continue to support Wreaths Across America through Pilot Flying J’s relationship with truck drivers and by spreading the word throughout the industry.”
The trucking industry is a vital group when it comes to helping WAA achieve its goal of honoring fallen soldiers each year. Hamilton and Pilot Flying J have supported WAA by hosting fundraising events at locations across the country and by offering promotions where a portion of sales proceeds go toward placing wreaths on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery.
“The trucking community has been extremely dedicated to Wreaths Across America over the years, but support doesn’t come exclusively from drivers,” Karen Worcester explained. “Some of the most important contributions come from those behind the scenes, like Wendy. Her commitment to helping Wreaths Across America fulfill our mission to remember, honor and teach has proved invaluable, and we are grateful for the opportunity to honor her.”
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission — remember, honor and teach — is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at hundreds of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
For more information or to sponsor a wreath visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.