STORM TEAM: Storm-battered cemetery cleaned up in time for Memorial Day

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- This Memorial Day local families will have a clean cemetery once against to visit veterans and loves ones all thanks to the kindness of strangers.

Lakeview Cemetery in Eau Claire was badly damaged by Thursday night’s wind storm which downed trees and blew branches and leaves across grave sites.

But Sunday afternoon, dozens of people came with rakes, wheel barrows and coolers to be part of the city’s first ever “Flash Mob Cleanup”.

The mission: get the cemetery clear of trees and debris by Memorial Day.

“I'm so happy that people are willing to come out here in this heat and contribute so everyone can respect their loved ones,” said Heather Crandall, a volunteer from Eau Claire.

The city of Eau Claire said it wants to make sure the cemetery is safe for Memorial Day, one of the busiest days of the year for cemeteries.
“It would have taken weeks or months,” said Todd Chwala, the Supervisor of Parks, Forestry and Cemeteries.

Chwala said the flash mob was the idea of City Personnel Director Dale Peters.

He said the city put the call out about the flash mob on its Facebook page.

The Blake Family of Eau Claire said they were drawn to join the flash mob because they have several family members buried at the cemetery.

“But also to honor the veterans that have died and just wanted to have a practical way of showing our gratitude,” Michael Blake said.

Joyce Orth said her home was badly damaged in the storm.

She said she wanted to give back to the community that’s helped her so much in her recent time of need.

“It's very humbling. That’s why we love Eau Claire,” Orth said.

The city said the big tree piles should be out of the cemetery by the end of the week.

“We can regrow trees, but what we don't have to worry about is re-growing is the community spirit,” Chwala said.


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  • by anonymous Location: Eau Claire on May 28, 2012 at 01:48 PM
    Very cool. Would like to have been a part of this but I'm not on Facebook, oh well. Awesome thing to do.
  • by Scott on May 28, 2012 at 08:09 AM
    I found out about this Sunday night. I got back into town Sunday afternoon. I sincerly thank the people who volunteered for this. I wish I would have been able to do this. Thank you.
  • by Sally on May 28, 2012 at 02:17 AM
    I think this is beautiful. My grandma and grandpa are buried in Lakeview, along with some other relatives. It warms my heart to know that people are still willing to lend a hand and be neighborly. Thank you 'flash mob.' You are amazing!
  • by Kim Location: Hallie on May 27, 2012 at 09:54 PM
    That is the Spirit!
  • by Karolynne on May 27, 2012 at 08:59 PM
    THANKYOU!!! To all who took the time during this holiday weekend to cleanup Lake View Cemetery!
  • by cfs Location: n wi on May 27, 2012 at 08:14 PM
    Just LOVE it when stuff like this happens!! Bless all those caring folks!!
  • by Kim Location: EC on May 27, 2012 at 08:12 PM
    The great people of this community make this one of the best places to live...Thank you!!!
  • by L Location: EC on May 27, 2012 at 08:09 PM
    I had the pleasure of going to the Lake View Cemetery and helping out-the support that our community showed today was very over whelming! People of all ages-what a great community that we have!
  • by Brenda Ojibway Location: Chippewa Falls on May 27, 2012 at 08:03 PM
    We were down there planting flowers. When leaving we saw all the people that showed up to help clean up. That was impressive. Awesome people
    • reply
      by buck on Jun 7, 2012 at 09:15 PM in reply to Brenda Ojibway
      post a cleanup so i know if im able to help like weed trimming is something i might be able to help with and if there is a caretakers number that we ppl can call it would be helpfull to know the needs to get this on track again .
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