Historic Waxahachie, Inc. presents check for $30,000 to help repair cemetery
Historic Waxahachie, Inc. (HWI) presented a $30,000 check to the city on Thursday to help pay for repairs to the cemetery in the town of Waxahachie after vandals damaged or destroyed several headstones between the 28th and 28th february. the cost to fix everything will be between $40,000 and $60,000.
HWI organized a fundraising campaign that ran from April 3-12 to raise money for the repairs. The initiative began with the Tombstones and History launch event on April 3 which nearly 100 people attended. Throughout the campaign, nearby nonprofits donated money, including the Waxahachie Foundation, the Ellis County Historical Commission, and the Lancaster Genealogical Society Trust Fund. In total, the event raised $18,201.
HWI later matched donations up to $10,000. Then the HWI board voted to match an additional $1,799. HWI also covered the costs of online donations.
“We are so grateful to Historic Waxahachie, who truly know the heart of this community and have worked very hard to help maintain the quality of life we have here,” said Peggy Crabtree, chair of the City Cemetery Board. “They’re special, and it’s such a special place, and we’re so grateful for their efforts to help us do the right thing and try to put things right.”
Kathleen Bowen, Chair of the Tombstones and History Campaign, praised Becky Kauffman, Advisor for HWI, for spearheading the fundraising efforts.
“She put the mic in her ear, and everyone on the council stepped in like they always do when there’s a need in the community,” Bowen said. “That’s what’s great about Waxahachie. People see this need, and they step in with no questions asked, roll up your sleeves, what can we do? I can’t say enough about the HWI board. What a great group of people.
City leaders thanked HWI for their efforts in preserving a historic place in Waxahachie.
“We have always tried to preserve the history and culture of the city, and what you have done to help us shows how important this concept is for our city,” said Mayor Doug Barnes.
Police have not identified the suspect(s) involved in the vandalism. City leaders said a total of 280 headstones had been damaged and so far 160 had been repaired. Among those damaged were over 100 years old and included key figures in the city’s history, such as Emory Rogers, one of the first settlers and founders of the city.
HWI plans to hold a celebratory event once the repairs are complete.