Volunteers Prepare to Clean Up Weeks Cemetery in Bridgeport
BRIDGEPORT — A local cemetery is in need of some “TLC,” and local residents are stepping up and volunteering their time to fix it.
Bridgeport residents and volunteers led by Tim Smith and his wife, Anna, are looking for additional volunteers to aid them as they provide that tender loving care during a Bridgeport Weeks Cemetery cleanup project Saturday.
The Smiths said they feel driven to assist in improving their community, and have been preparing for the cleanup day for weeks now. Tim discovered that the graveyard’s condition had deteriorated and wanted to do something about it.
“I live right down the road. I drive through it (Weeks Cemetery) every day and right before Memorial Day, I don’t know why,” Tim said as he raised his hand toward the sky and motioned upward. “He put it on my heart, because I’ve drove through it for 15 years and not really thought much about it, but it just kept bugging me.”
Tim said he is expecting 50 volunteers to participate next Saturday, but more are needed. The cleanup will cover all 14 acres and nearly 4,000 grave stones in the cemetery.
“We’re in need of more volunteers. There are a lot of wonderful people already helping, and there’s even been people stopping by throughout the week. There was a gentleman here the other day weed-eating. So they don’t necessarily have to do it on that day (Saturday),” Tim said.
He added that organizers are really in need of people who would be willing to rake grass after volunteers have trimmed the property.
“After we weed-eat, we have to rake the grass off before we can even get the mowers in, so people with rakes would be wonderful,” he added.
The extensive grass is not the only issue the cemetery has — many headstones have tipped over, some due to fallen branches, Tim said.
The group is looking for professionals to volunteer their time who could help secure the fallen headstones and trim branches.
The village has provided equipment to aid in the cleanup process. Smith also has convinced many local businesses to help on Saturday — BET Rental will be lending additional equipment, Carson Petroleum has donated fuel, Colerain IGA is donating food for the volunteers, Jon’s Johns is donating a portable toilet for the event, JB Green Team donated gloves, South Central Power donated safety goggles, and many more are involved.
“There’s a lot of support for this. We know a lot of good people, and those people know a lot of good people,” Smith said.
The efforts made by the Smiths and their fellow volunteers have not gone unnoticed. The upcoming endeavor has prompted Mayor David Smith to start a new community program named the Village of Bridgeport Community Involvement Initiative, and Tim Smith has been named co-chairman.
The volunteer group will meet at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Weeks Cemetery on Sunset Heights. Smith said they intend to be there most of the day. All are welcome to participate in the efforts. Lunch will be provided.
“If you can help, we would greatly appreciate your support. Come anytime, we’ll be there all day,” he said.
For further information on the cemetery cleanup, call Tim Smith at 740-359-6436.