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September 24, 2021 5:00 PM, EDT

Wreaths Across America Recognizes Bennett Family of Cos.

Bennett From left: Gentry, Queeney, Bennett's Donna Padgett and Rob Worcester with Wreaths Across America. (Bennett Family of Cos.)

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The Bennett Family of Cos. was recognized by Wreaths Across America as the sixth recipient of its annual James Prout Spirit of Giving Award.

WAA presented the award earlier in the summer during the eighth annual Stem to Stone event held near its headquarters in Downeast, Maine. The award is given annually to a truck driver, company or organization that has supported charitable causes in a way that will affect generations to come. Bennett received the award for helping the charity fulfill its mission to honor fallen veterans.

“Wreaths Across America holds a special place in the hearts of the truck drivers, agents and employees of the Bennett Family of Cos.,” Executive Vice President Lee Gentry said. “Many of our team have served our country, have family members currently serving or have known someone who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. As part of our commitment to patriotism, we have embraced the cause of Wreaths Across America — and of the National Cemetery that is closest to our company, Andersonville National Cemetery."

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WAA is a charitable organization that honors soldiers who have died by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and other locations across the country each December. Bennett helped fulfill that mission by transporting wreaths.

“It is our great honor to be a part of the Wreaths Across America family, to continue to remember, honor and teach those around us about the brave men and women who we recognize during the holidays and at events like this throughout the year,” Gentry said. “On behalf of the entire team, we are humbled and grateful for this special honor.”

Bennett has participated in other charitable and humanitarian efforts including hurricane relief and transporting equipment in response to the 9/11 attacks. In 2018, WAA was added to the list of charities the company helps. It has hauled 20,000 wreaths in support of the group since that time.

“Without the trucking community and their generous donations of time and services, our mission simply would not be possible,” Don Queeney, director of trucking for WAA, said. “The work Bennett does year-round encourages new participation and support for the mission, not only in Georgia, but in the industry. They are true friends of the organization, for which we are grateful.”

The James Prout Spirit of Giving Award is named in memory of James Prout, owner of Blue Bird Ranch Trucking of Jonesboro, Maine. Prout was the first person to volunteer to haul wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery when the program was in its infancy.

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