Friends of Cemeteries expands its mission with a raffle

A small band of ladies got together a little more than a decade ago. They were appalled at the shabby condition of Port Clinton’s two cemeteries, Lakeview Cemetery and Riverview Cemetery.

“We knew we had to do something,” said Sandra Koch of Port Clinton. “We were a very small group, but we raised money with all kinds of fundraisers, from antique appraisals to our annual chicken dinner in September.”

They worked hard, and the dreary cemeteries began to sparkle once again, thanks to the Port Clinton Friends of the Cemeteries, which meets at Ida Rupp Public Library on the fourth Monday of the month.

This year, they’re organizing their very first raffle, and Koch is excited they’ll be able to do much more. The Port Clinton Friends of the Cemeteries have rounded up some prizes sure to be popular with the Port Clinton crowd.

“Our top prize is a six-person walleye fishing trip with Sea Breeze Charters, The second prize is four tickets to Cedar Point Amusement Park. Third prize is a night at Our Guest Inn & Suites in Port Clinton, and a $50 gift certificate for Rosie’s Bar & Grill.”

To make sure everyone has the chance to buy the $5 raffle tickets (five for $20), the ladies will tackle the crowd at the Port Clinton Art Walk on May 23, and the Walleye Festival on May 26, putting up tent and table.

Raffle tickets can also be purchased from Lily and Gert’s in downtown Port Clinton, by calling 419-732-3074 and by mail from Mary Mills, 912 Lee St., Port Clinton 43452.

They’ll draw the winning ticket at their June 24 meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Ida Rupp Library. You don’t have to be there to win, but you should stop by if you would like to become a member of the friendly, dedicated group.

“When we began, we started with small projects, like providing trash receptacles at the cemeteries,” said Koch. “We did a lot of heavy-duty landscaping, put colorful new windows in the dreary mausoleum, installed attractive fencing and helped a Boy Scout construct a veteran’s area with benches.

“With help from the Stenson Foundation and our many friends and benefactors, we paved all the roads at Riverview Cemetery.”

The group still has some big dreams.

“When we received our non-profit status, our mission statement was to ensure the properties in and around the cemeteries are always worthy of those who lie within,” said Koch.

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