CAMP RIPLEY - A record 3,000 wreaths have been placed at the gravestones of soldiers at the Minnesota State Veterans' Cemetery.

The Civil Air Patrol squadrons of St. Cloud and Crow Wing help lay the wreaths last Saturday near Camp Ripley.  The program is part of the Wreaths for the Fallen project.

The St. Cloud Squadron collected nearly 350 wreaths for the event led by Cadet Staff Sgt. Matt Gruber who gathered 95 sponsors. He spearheaded last year’s effort with 66 wreaths and once again bypassed social media to earn his sponsorships the old-fashioned way.

“I knocked on doors in my neighborhood, asked family and friends, and even got people where I go to school to buy a wreath. When I explained that the wreaths would be placed on the graves of veterans they were more than happy to be a sponsor,” Gruber said.