Dear Friends of Lexington Odd Fellows Cemetery:
As we approach the end of 2019, we have cause to celebrate! With your help, we have not only reached, but also exceeded our goal of $200,000 in donations. We are now eligible to receive the full impact of the $200,000 matching gift from our generous anonymous donor. As of this newsletter, we have received $204,272.53 from 276 donors, with the average donation being $740.11. We are immensely grateful to all of you who have given so unselfishly to our beloved cemetery, many of you, multiple times.
When we began this endeavor some of us were skeptical that it would be possible to reach this level of giving. Many people who once called Lexington home have moved to other places, and other than family members buried at LOFC, have no connection to Lexington. Thankfully those skeptics were wrong, for obviously people with Lexington roots, whether near or distant, continue to have big and generous hearts. Perhaps it is because a cemetery is a hallowed place, so the preservation of such a place touches our heart. It is personal; it is family.
So, it is time to say thank you to all of you who gave no matter how large or small the donation. Collectively, you have made a difference. Further thanks should be given to Julian Watson, who was instrumental in first gathering a small group of interested and concerned citizens to discuss the preservation of Odd Fellows Cemetery. Julian has served as Chairman of the Board since LOFC was incorporated as a 501(c)13 corporation in June 2018.
Further thanks should be given to Chris Hammett, who works tirelessly in every facet of LOFC. Chris is the rock upon which LOFC rests. Recently Chris and Richard Hammett oversaw the installation of cornerstones for graves that are available for sale. Nancy and Don Barrett provided manpower to assist with the installation.
If you would like to purchase a plot, they are available at a cost of $600 for one (1) 10’ x 5’ grave or a discounted price of $2000 for four (4) 10’ X 20’ graves.
Thanks to the efforts of so many, LOFC now reflects the care and attention it has received. Many report that it has never looked better. Still, there are on-going issues, such as clearing brush and trimming trees near the fence line. The costs for these services will exceed the funds allocated for weekly mowing and maintenance.
In the September Newsletter we announced that some grave sites are not incompliance with the Rules and Regulations posted on our website. Families have been given until January 1, 2020, to remove any unauthorized items; otherwise those items will be removed by Maintenance. We strongly urge all to read Rule No. 1 under “Flowers and Decorations” which states:
LOFC retains the authority, in its sole discretion, to remove objects, including but not limited to, flowers, wreaths, potted plants, artificial and cut flowers and any other objects placed on graves (the “objects”) when the objects become unsightly or if those objects are offensive, vulgar or inappropriate in the sole opinion of LOFC.
Although we have reached our goal of $200,000 in donations, allowing us to capitalize on the matching gift, it is essential that we continue to grow our endowment fund. In an ideal world, we need an endowment of one million dollars in order to generate enough annual income to maintain LOFC in perpetuity. That is our goal, as well as increasing our number of donors to 500. With your continued generosity, we can achieve it. If you have not given, please visit our website and make an on-line donation using a credit card https://lexingtonoddfellowscemetery.com/donate, or send a check made payable to LOFC, Post Office Box 1213, Lexington, MS 39095. If you have given, please consider an additional gift in either 2019 or 2020, depending on your tax situation and the year in which the resulting tax deduction would have the most benefit for you. Several donors give a set amount annually, and this way of giving may prove useful for you. Regardless of your decision in this regard, we are grateful for your past support.
As we each gather with family and friends to celebrate the coming holidays, whatever your faith or belief, please take the time to remember absent friends and family who are no longer with us. For many, the holidays will be tinged with sorrow as they grieve the loss of loved ones. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Amanda Povall Tailyour, Editor