Student volunteers clean up cemetery
By Vicky Wedig
About 50 fifth- through eighth-graders from St. Andrew Parish School gathered at Spring Grove Cemetery on Friday to sweep, dig, spray and plant.
The students did spring cleaning at the cemetery – swept the floor and wiped down the walls inside the mausoleum, picked up twigs and brush, planted flowers, sprayed weeds and landscaped.
The clean-up is part of an ongoing effort spearheaded by resident Ken Wargo to restore the Civil War monument in the cemetery. After Wargo’s project began, the cemetery was vandalized about a year ago. Vandals toppled 75 monuments, which Wargo and volunteers then began working to repair. Wargo said about two-thirds of the monuments have been repaired to date, and the remainder should be fixed within the next two weeks.
Ketterhagen Memorials Inc., which volunteered its services last year to lift toppled monuments back into place, has been unavailable because the wet, cold spring has delayed its usual business. Wargo said the Burlington company will have a donation day soon to complete the work in the Spring Grove cemetery.
Parent volunteer Stephanie Freitag led the students. Don Hartman provided Bobcat services, and Pete Godina helped with landscaping.
Wargo gathered students at the Civil War monument for pictures before they began working.
“This is Delavan’s most sacred ground,” he said.
He said for 143 years, people have come to the monument on Memorial Day.
At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, students from Wileman Elementary School will present 108 flags in an ongoing memorial tribute to remember Delavan’s casualties of war. Ace Hardware will donate the flags, Delavan-Darien High School metal shop students made the flag holders, Delavan Christian School students prepared a presentation display, and Wileman fifth-graders will complete the tribute.
For more information call Ken Wargo at 215-9890.