Dear Friends of Odd Fellows:
We are pleased and excited to announce a further expansion and enhancement of our website - . At our July Board Meeting, Bryan Mills of I. E. Web Services met with the Board to demonstrate the new Cemetery Management System (CMS) and the Interactive Cemetery Map. Although Bryan and his family live in California, Bryan has Holmes County connections, as he is married to the daughter of Jim and Loretta Moore Wilson. It was through Jim Wilson and his website www.msholmes.org that the Board contracted with I.E. Web Services to design a website, a cemetery management system and an interactive cemetery map. Now that all three phases of the project are compete and available on the website, we hope that you will take the time to fully explore its many features.
With the transfer of Odd Fellows to LOFC, the Board’s immediate goal was to restore the cemetery grounds to the well-maintained property that you probably remember after some years of neglect. We have come a long way but still have issues that need attention. In addition to maintenance, which will be a continuing issue, it soon became evident that the record-keeping for Odd Fellows had not been maintained properly for the past ten years. Rather than continue with a manual system that was out of date and obsolete, the Board voted to invest in a computerized CMS. It has been a daunting task finding records for graves, but Chris Hammett and George Ellison have been working diligently to up-date the grave records in an Excel spreadsheet, which has been downloaded into the new CMS. We are still missing records, so the search continues.
However, you can help by taking the time to explore the Memorials. By clicking on “Memorials” in the menu and enter your family name in the search box, you will be able to find your family graves. If you notice a name missing or any other incorrect information, please email CHammett@barrettlawgroup.com so that Chris can amend the records. You can also search by the plot number if you have this information. In addition to finding your family graves, the Interactive Cemetery Map will allow you to review and browse the LOFC property maps and plot plans in an interactive way. It will further show plots available for sale, images and information boxes directly on the map. Again, it is critical that we improve our records keeping so that it is as accurate and reliable as possible, so your input is vital to this project.
Finally, we are pleased to report that since LOFC took over the ownership of Odd Fellows we have received donations totaling $175,102.53 from 237 donors, with the average donation being $975.83. The names of those generous donors are posted on our website under “Donors”. We invite you to take the time to review the names of our Donors and when you next meet them, please thank them for being a part of this worthwhile project. In order to receive the impact of the second $100,000 of the matching gift by our anonymous donor, we need to raise $24,897.47. For those of you who have not made a donation, we ask that you please consider joining this effort to save our beloved cemetery with a donation, whatever the amount. You can visit our website and make an on-line donation using a credit card, or you may send a check made payable to LOFC, Post Office Box 1213, Lexington, MS 39095.
If you are receiving this Newsletter, it is because you are considered a Friend of LOFC. Please become a Donor as well.
Amanda Povall Tailyour, Editor