April 2019 Newsletter

Dear Concerned Friends of Lexington Odd Fellows Cemetery, Inc.,

If you are receiving this letter via email, you are receiving it on the new LOFC website. We are excited about its creation, as it is a means to keep you better informed of the considerable progress that we have achieved since taking over the ownership and maintenance of the cemetery on July 9, 2018. In addition, we expect it to become a source of ancestry research, widening the exposure of LOFC to a greater audience. We encourage you to explore its many features, and if you are interested in adding historical documents and photos to your family grave information, there will be an opportunity for you to do so. We want the website to be an interactive forum for anyone who is interested in LOFC.

As earlier reported, the Board contracted with Curtis Dixon to maintain the cemetery grounds. Curtis and his crew have made significant progress in the restoration of the grounds. Issues remain that need attention, such as fire ant control, but the consensus of those who have visited Odd Fellows is that the appearance of the grounds is vastly improved.

The maintenance of the cemetery is an expensive project, with anticipated annual costs of approximately $42,500 per annum, with that cost undoubtedly increasing with time. Although the Jewish Cemetery is a separate entity and is not legally part of Lexington Odd Fellows Cemetery, Inc., those responsible for that section of the cemetery have paid $3,000 for the maintenance of its graves this year. That payment reduces our annual cost of maintenance to roughly $39,500. I am happy to report that to date we have received donations from 162 parties totaling $141,017.53. Donations range from $10 to $10,000, with the average donation being $870.48. In addition to the donations, we have received an additional $100,000 in matching funds from our generous anonymous donor. Our total income to date is $246,017.53, which includes the following:

Donations: $ 141,017.53
Interment Fees: $     2,000.00
Jewish Cemetery:  $     3,000.00
Matching Gift from Anonymous Donor: $ 100,000.00

In order to capitalize on the full impact of the matching gift of $200,000 from our generous anonymous donor, we need to raise an additional $58,982.47. We recognize that this is an ambitious goal, but it is possible if all of us contribute, no matter how large or small. We ask that you consider making an annual gift in whatever amount that you are comfortable with to help not only with annual maintenance, but also to help build our endowment fund toward a size that will produce annual income enough to cover the annual cost of maintenance. You have two options for making a tax-deductible contribution: (1) mail your contribution to Odd Fellows Cemetery Endowment at P. O. Box 1213, Lexington, MS 39095 or (2) use a credit card on our secure website.

Further, we are pleased to report that LOFC is a 501(c)13 tax exempt corporation, organized under Mississippi law and registered with the Mississippi Secretary of State as a charitable organization. As such, it must submit an annual Form 990 tax return to the IRS each year and an annual report to the Secretary of State. Because of LOFC’s 501(c)13 status qualification, all contributions to LOFC are tax deductible retroactive to June 27, 2018. Simply put, if you contributed to LOFC on or after June 27, 2018, it is tax deductible.

We continue to expand our database of interested persons, so that we can communicate more efficiently and cost-effectively via email. Again, I ask that if you know of anyone who has family or loved one buried at Odd Fellows, please send contact information for them to LOFC at the address set forth above or to Chris Hammett by email at

Please know that we welcome your comments and concerns and invite you to share them with any member of the Board. Further, Board meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 2:00 p.m. in the Holmes County Bank & Trust Company Annex in Lexington, and those meetings are open to the public.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Thurmond, President

Lexington Odd Fellows Cemetery, Inc.