Fri. Nov 22nd, 2019

Local nonprofit, Lowe’s work together for Eatonville cemetery cleanup


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STEWART: WESH 2’S GREG FOX SHOWS US THE RESULTS. JIM: — GREG: UP CLOSE, IT LOOKS LIKE BUT THIS GARDEN IS THE RESTING PLACE OF THE FOUNDERS OF AMERICA’S OLDEST BLACK INCORPORATED TOWN. IN RECENT YEARS, WEEDS OUTNUMBERED BLADES OF GRASS, AND MOLD WAS MORE VISIBLE THAN NAMES ON GRAVE MARKERS. EATONVILLE MEMORIAL GARDENS HAD BEEN IN ANOTHER COMPANY’S CONTROL UNTIL VERY RECENTLY AND THEN A LOCAL NON-PROFIT TOOK IT OVER, AND THAT LED TO THIS CLEAN UP. JEAN: I HAVE A LITTLE AUNT IN THE BACK THAT WAS BURIED IN 1918. GREG: JEAN JONES ALEXANDER CHAIRS THE EATONVILLE COMMUNITY CEMETERY ASSOCIATION, WHICH DID ITS BEST TO RESTORE TH CEMETERY’S CHARACTER, BUT HER GROUP NEEDED HELP. THAT’S WHERE THE 100 VOLUNTEERS IN RED SHIRTS, DOING THE MOWING, AND THE RAKING, LOADING DUMPSTERS WITH LITTER AND DEBRIS, AND SPREADING NEW ROAD GRAVEL, COME I JEAN: I’M JUST AS ECSTATIC LIKE I TOLD THEM THIS MORNING, I FEEL LIKE A KID WHO WAKES UP ON CHRISTMAS MORNING, AND EVERYTHING IS UNDER THAT TREE THAT YOU WANTED. GREG: LOWE’S HEROES IS A NATIONAL PROGRAM WHERE THE HOME IMPROVEMENT COMPANY TACKLES LOCAL PROJECTS, OFTEN FOR NONPROFITS WHO DESPERATELY NEED THE MATERIALS AND MAN AND WOMAN POWER. THIS IS STORE MANAGER CHUCK BROWN’S PROJECT. CHUCK: A COMMUNITY, BEING A COMMUNITY LIKE THIS WITH SUCH HISTORY OF EATONVILLE, IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE GIVE BACK, AND GIVE BACK TO THESE COMMUNITIES. GREG: WITH VETERANS HELPING TO RAISE THE STARS AND STRIPES ON A NEW FLAG POLE, THIS MONUMENTAL PIECE OF THE TOWN’S HISTORY HAD REGAINED ITS DIGNITY. JEAN: I AM BLESSED AND I AM HAPPY. GREG: IN EATONVILLE, GREG FOX, WESH 2 NEWS. MICHELLE: THERE ARE MORE THAN 700 GRAVES AT THE CEMETERY IN EATONVILLE. BUT THE CLEANUP IS HELPING TO CATALOG ALL OF THE MARKERS AND VERIFY ALL OF THE PEOP

Local nonprofit, Lowe’s work together for Eatonville cemetery cleanup

A piece of Central Florida history is in better shape thanks to a partnership between a Central Florida nonprofit and a major national store chain.Volunteers worked to clean up the resting place of the founders of America’s oldest black incorporated town.In recent years, weeds outnumbered blades of grass and mold was more visible than names on grave markers at Eatonville Memorial Gardens. The cemetery had been in another company’s control until recently, when a nonprofit took over and started the cleanup. Jean Jones Alexander is the chair for the Eatonville Community Cemetery Association.”I have a little aunt in the back that was buried in 1918. I have a relative over there,” Jones Alexander said. The organization did its best to restore the cemetery’s character, but her group needed help. That’s where 100 volunteers from Lowe’s came in.The group got together to mow and rake the area, even load dumpsters with litter and debris.”The guardian angels came from Lowe’s, and they’re going to finish it up for me, and they’re doing a beautiful job today,” Jones Alexander said.”I mean, I’m just as ecstatic, like I told them this morning, I feel like a kid who wakes up on Christmas morning and everything is under that tree that you wanted.”Lowe’s Heroes is a national program where the home improvement company tackles local projects, often for nonprofits, which desperately need the materials and more people power.The cemetery cleanup is store manager Chuck Brown’s project. “It’s really important to me,” Brown said. “A community, being a community like this with such history of Eatonville, it’s important that we give back and give back to these communities.”

EATONVILLE, Fla. —

A piece of Central Florida history is in better shape thanks to a partnership between a Central Florida nonprofit and a major national store chain.

Volunteers worked to clean up the resting place of the founders of America’s oldest black incorporated town.

In recent years, weeds outnumbered blades of grass and mold was more visible than names on grave markers at Eatonville Memorial Gardens. The cemetery had been in another company’s control until recently, when a nonprofit took over and started the cleanup. Jean Jones Alexander is the chair for the Eatonville Community Cemetery Association.

“I have a little aunt in the back that was buried in 1918. I have a relative over there,” Jones Alexander said. The organization did its best to restore the cemetery’s character, but her group needed help. That’s where 100 volunteers from Lowe’s came in.

The group got together to mow and rake the area, even load dumpsters with litter and debris.

“The guardian angels came from Lowe’s, and they’re going to finish it up for me, and they’re doing a beautiful job today,” Jones Alexander said.”I mean, I’m just as ecstatic, like I told them this morning, I feel like a kid who wakes up on Christmas morning and everything is under that tree that you wanted.”

Lowe’s Heroes is a national program where the home improvement company tackles local projects, often for nonprofits, which desperately need the materials and more people power.

The cemetery cleanup is store man

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