Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Wreaths Across America at Seneca Valley

Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Wreaths Across America at Seneca Valley

PITTSBURGH — An eighth grade student is teaching her classmates the importance of remembering and honoring fallen veterans.

Thirteen-year old Elise Ketler is a student at Ryan Gloyer Middle School in the Seneca Valley School District, and she spent three years fundraising thousands of dollars after learning about the non-profit Wreaths Across America.

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“She asked, ‘In lieu of birthday presents, I want everybody to give me money to raise for Wreaths Across America.’ So that was her that was her 12th birthday,” said Elise’s mother, Connie Ketler. “It kind of snowballed from there.”

In the past three years, Elise has raised over $5,000 at local community days and schools. In December, Elise traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to lay wreaths, including one on the grave of the solider her school was named after, Ryan Gloyer.

“It gets emotional because you know those people and, like, you know that they’re important in your lives,” she said.

On March 10, the Wreaths Across America Mobile Exhibit went to Elise’s school to teach students about their mission to remember, honor, and teach.

“Our eighth graders all get civics and government in their social studies class,” Assistant Principal Robert Raso said. “Ryan Gloyer Middle School is named after an Army veteran who was killed in action in 2016, so there’s that connection. It connects to what Elise has done. You know the work that she’s done we’ve actually brought into the classrooms, we’ve had lessons related to related to Wreaths Across America and veterans in general, and that’s a big part of our school.”

This year Elise plans to adopt a commentary in another state that does not get wreaths and fundraise for them.

Elise Ketler is making us Proud to be from Pittsburgh.

Elise’s fundraising page is wreathsacrossAmerica.org/PA0330

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