Marine Science Technician First Class Gordon Bellinger, photo credit Jessica Bellinger


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EFC Newport’s American Heritage Girls (AHG) recently participated at the Wreath Laying Ceremony with Wreaths Across America at Island Cemetery on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm.

Along with the Surface Navy Association Newport Chapter, Surface Warfare Officers School, and many other volunteers, the AHG contributed wreaths that where laid on Veterans gravesites. In the fall of this year, the girls had assisted in counting each veteran site at Island Cemetery, ensuring that every veteran received a fresh green wreath tied with a beautiful red ribbon, over 750 in total.

Local AHG Troop 0619 leader Jessica Bellinger is undoubtedly proud of the young ladies, and the family support each one received. “We actually surpassed the goal for the cemetery, raising 530 wreaths, so every veteran grave received a wreath. This is a meaningful ceremony for all of us but especially for the girls.”

Troop 0619 was started at EFC Newport in 2015 and focuses heavily on the community and volunteering. Since the national organization began in 1995, the American Heritage Girls have become the premier national character development organization for girls ages 5 to 18 that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement.

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Pastor Paul Hoffman notes the girls honoring local veterans in December was a timely as EFC Newport finishes a yearlong community effort, “The EFC Year of Care, which the AHG’s were a large part of, culminates this month. Digging deep into the community, this initiative involved countless hours of prayer, service and financial donations as we partnered with five local nonprofit organizations. We are very proud of our young ladies, and their commitment to the community.”

In 2018, EFC will launch a new campus at Portsmouth at 14 Potomac Road, EFC North, which will enable them to serve a larger area of Newport County.

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