Cemetery volunteer workday happening Saturday
With a limited income, the Milton Cemetery manager Bill Bledsoe and cemetery board members scheduled a volunteer workday for this Saturday. Bledsoe, and the board members who volunteer their time in keeping up the historic site, said work on the grounds crew would greatly be appreciated.
“They don’t have to come to volunteer just on Saturday, they can come anytime they want,” Bledsoe said.
In addition to a small stipend from the city, the occasional burial plot sales and donations, the cemetery has a limited income, Bledsoe said.
Recently, the cemetery benefited from charitable donations and volunteer work. In addition to having the Milton High School NROTC provide lawn maintenance, the ‘All About Food’ restaurant in Milton donated a portion of sales proceeds to the cemetery’s upkeep.
Bledsoe, a 12-year Marine Corps veteran, said local military personnel have also previously volunteered at the cemetery along with students from Avalon Middle School.
He is very thankful for any volunteer efforts the cemetery grounds received and is always looking for additional volunteers. With an unpredictable income, Bledsoe said any help, whether donations or volunteerism, is welcome.
Family members with loved ones buried at the cemetery are designated with up keeping their family member’s grave site, however several plots remain unkempt. Bledsoe also said many families are unable to keep up the graves due to not living in the immediate area anymore.
Other factors come from the cemetery’s income, Bledsoe said. The selling of burial plots is at best occasional, he said. Bledsoe said the cemetery is on the verge of reaching max capacity.
Regardless after previously managing a cemetery in California, Bledsoe enjoys overseeing the Milton Cemetery on a voluntary basis.
“I am unpaid and I am not looking for a salary,” he said.
In the future, Bledsoe plans to have a ceremony honoring the military men and women buried at the cemetery. The cemetery recently had a bronze plaque donated to the grounds, which honors each branch of the military.
The volunteer clean up day will begin at 7:30 a.m. and last till however long volunteers want to stay and work, Bledsoe said.
Needed donations are also accepted by the City of Milton at P.O. Box 909 Milton, Fl 32572 to the Milton Benevolent Cemetery, specifying the Milton Cemetery.
For more information on how to help the Milton Cemetery, call Bledsoe at 686-1122.
Want to help?
What? Milton Cemetery Clean-up
When? Saturday, April 24 from 7:30 a.m. until dusk
Where? Milton Cemetery on Berryhill Road, Milton
What to bring: Tools, gloves, sunscreen, water
This article originally appeared on Santa Rosa Press Gazette: Cemetery volunteer workday happening Saturday