Bethany Cemetery Association Meeting
8/19/2020 @ Pike County Health Dept. Conference Room
In attendance were Tracy Brookshier, Lesli Stross, Bess Gamm & Carolyne Puskas (via phone); as well as Tracy’s children, Stevie Jane & Trace Brookshier.
Tracy discussed the progress with our new facebook page, website and blog. We also discussed the progress with the re-creating of the plat book. We have roughly 34 “missing family” persons that we have no clue where within the cemetery they are laid to rest because we do not have the original plat book. Carolyne, Patty & Tracy have been working to research these missing people and try to come up with “suspected locations”. Once this is complete, those plots will be off the market and cannot be sold until we can verify with official record. We have made many attempts through local news outlets, online and through social media to get the word out about our missing plat book and our missing people. We have had some response. We discussed having stones made for our missing people and laying them in a vacant area with a sign explaining. Tracy mentioned maybe just making a sign and posting it on the gate so that people can see it when visiting and maybe have information to share with us. Tracy will get a quote.
Tracy and her husband Steve made a display case for the cemetery. This will hopefully be put up on our Clean-up day on October 3rd. It will house the map, and a list of names so that visitors can easily locate their loved ones. It will also have brochures and donation slips. Tracy is designing and printing brochures for this.
We have decided to work on starting to sell plots again. We plan to do this by only selling plots in areas of the cemetery that are largely vacant. We will not sell any plots that have someone laid to rest in the same lot. We will do this temporarily, hopefully, until we can get the original plat book to ensure we are not selling plots that are unknowingly possibly occupied. This will help our cemetery raise funds outside of donations.
We discussed that our last two CD’s in the combined amount of $1,500.00 will both be cashed in by the end of the month which brings our current balance to roughly $13,000.00. So far this year we have tripled the amount of donations received at this time last year! Tracy and Carolyne stressed the fact that even though that is a good amount to have in our account, we need to be extremely cautious on our spending as we cannot ensure that our mowing expenses will stay at this same “low” rate, nor can we anticipate any other financial issues that may arise if donations slow. As of right now our mowing/lawn care is costing us on average $2,300.00 per year.
Carolyne discussed her idea to have flags put out for memorial day and veterans day and that maybe we could have the boy scouts do it, as we have few veterans in our cemetery (roughly 10?).
Carolyne reminded everyone that Joyce Sweet and her family paid to have the Shannon Mausoleum repaired as they are descendants to them. This is an amazing thing as it was very costly, and our association has not had the funds to spare in order to get it repaired.
We discussed fundraising ideas and decided we would try to do some sort of raffle. We would try to get maybe some businesses to donate. Bess mentioned that she had once had Woods Smoked Meats donate a meat bundle and they raised $300-$400. Tracy is going to try and get this idea going, and try to find a way to be able to do online sales as well. Carolyne mentioned that at previous family reunions they had auctions and donated that money to the cemetery but have not been able to do that this year due to the Covid-19 virus. She is writing up a story about this so that Tracy can share, in hopes that it may entice others to do this as well for us.
Carolyne resigned as President of the Bethany Cemetery Association, she was one of the main driving forces to get our cemetery taken care of again and we are in her debt for her and the other members for their dedication. Lesli Stross stepped up to fill her position as President. Tracy Brookshier remains as Secretary, and Patty Dortch remains Treasurer.
Tracy will be sending a copy of the minutes to Gail at Mercantile Bank to start getting bank signature cards updated. Carolyne also reminded to update the sign on gate with contact information, Tracy said she would take care of it.
*9/16/2020 edit: Tracy has sent a letter to Mr. Charles Stewart in hopes he may recollect who borrowed the plat-book so that we may try to reach out to them for its return. We are offering a $300 cash reward for its return.
Reminder of upcoming Meeting/Fall Clean-Up day on Saturday, October 3rd at 10am. We will also use this day as a time to discuss any updates.