Upkeep and Maintenance of Sheffield Cemetery is an ongoing Concern.
We need an additional $200,000 to keep up with inflation.
Sheffield Cemetery grounds is maintained and upgraded by funds it receives from donations to the Friends of Sheffield. Actual sales of burial plots and the opening and closing of burial sites funds go directly to BIAV Synagogue – not to the maintenance and upgrading of the cemetery grounds.
Friends of Sheffield have taken on the responsibility of maintaining the grounds with a professional lawn service and the maintenance of the newly installed irrigation system. The annual cost is approximately $45,000.
During the High Holy Days, Veterans Day and on Memorial Day, grave-sites of loved ones are visited. It is a Jewish custom to leave a stone on the headstone you visit. Flowers die but stones have a permanence to acknowledge you were there. Leaving a stone or pebble is a gesture of appreciation for the strong and lasting impression they have made on your life, a stone lasts forever… so too does love.
Before the High Holy Days, Daniel Rockoff, BIAV Rabbi, officiates a service in the newly renovated Sheffield Chapel. The chapel was dedicated by Friends of Sheffield in 2015. The entire community gave generously of their time, money and support to see this project to completion. The chapel had not been used for over 25 years and was an eyesore for the community and surrounding neighborhood.
Your contribution is secure 501(c)(3), and only used to maintain the cemetery.
Maintenance is a continuing problem and has been since cemeteries began, said LaDonna Garner, historic preservation consultant and board-certified genealogist in Southeast Missouri. As the country ages, cemeteries grow and sometimes fade, creating problems such as abandonment and decline.
“As decades pass, descendants and congregations move, communities die or the congregation moves and there is no local interest left to care about the maintenance or conservation of the cemetery,” she said.
In 1961 Missouri passed the Endowed Care Fund Law designed to ensure that income will always be available for the maintenance and upkeep of a cemetery, according to the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. The law required any new cemetery to set up an endowed fund or perpetual care fund to be used if the cemetery was ever abandoned or when the sales of plots ended, Garner said. Cemeteries created before the law went into effect were grandfathered in.
Laws regulate how the fund can be used, but the money should be invested so it continues to grow. Missouri statutes state only the income earned by the principal in the funds can be used by a cemetery authority to offset maintenance expenses.
It is a fact that the maintenance of a cemetery costs more than what the cemetery makes each year.
Sheffield Cemetery is maintained and upgraded by the Friends of Sheffield. Please remember The Friends of Sheffield in your donation plans. We want to keep the cemetery for our relatives and loved ones for years to come.
Donation information is on the Contact Us page.
Excerpted remarks of Samantha Kluesner ~ Southeast Missourian