JCC Student Athletes Clean Veteran Markers At Lake View Cemetery

JCC Student Athletes Clean Veteran Markers At Lake View Cemetery

Article copied from Jamestown Post Journal (http://www.post-journal.com/news/local-news/2017/10/jcc-student-athletes-clean-veteran-markers-at-lake-view-cemetery/)

More than 1,200 veteran markers in Soldier's Circle at Lake View Cemetery have been cleaned thanks to the athletes and coaches at Jamestown Community College.

On Friday, more than 130 students and coaches descended on Lake View Cemetery to perform the volunteer service project, which took about three hours to perform. 

"It was amazing. It was really great to see a group that size come together and to be able to clean every marker on Soldier's Circle. It was really an incredible sight," said Hugh Golden, Lake View Cemetery business manager. "It was a great thing for the JCC students to do. People need to realize that they are giving back to the community. They are not just receiving from the community, but they are giving back too."

Golden said the idea for the community service project came from Keith Martin, JCC athletic director, who realized the markers needed cleaned when he was at Soldier's Circle during the Memorial Day service. 

"I noticed many of the markers were covered with lichens and algae and thought having the student athletes and coaches clean the markers would be a great service project," Martin said. 

Golden said Martin then contacted Sam Genco, Lake View Cemetery superintendent, to ask about holding such a volunteer event and to set a date.

"It was set up through Sam. Sam is our resident expert when it comes to cleaning markers," Golden said. "When Keith pitched the idea, it was Sam who took it and figured out the mechanics of how to do it, and do it properly."

Golden said cleaning the markers is usually left to the families. He said cemetery officials will clean markers for a fee. 

"To have a volunteer group come in and do that, it was wonderful," he said.

Golden said there are other volunteer opportunities at the cemetery for community groups looking for a project. 

According to a news release from JCC, before the cleaning commenced Col. Theresa Baginski, retired U.S. Army and JCC coordinator of modern languages, spoke to the student athletes about service; not only her military service, but service to the community as well. She told those gathered, after graduation they should plan for the service, not necessarily military service, but service to their communities.

The JCC athletics department would like to thank the following for their contributions which helped to make the project successful; the Southwestern Chapter of Reserve Officers; Chautauqua Brick, which donated cleaning materials and brushes; Lake View Cemetery, which donated cleaning solution; and Dr. Anthony Peppy, doctor of dental surgery who donated tooth brushes.