By LOIS KINDLE
The Ruskin Memorial Park Association needs volunteers for a community-wide cleanup of Ruskin Memorial Park Cemetery on Nov. 18. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at 204 Manatee Drive.
The cleanup will involve weeding and edging, picking up trash, removing old flowers (whether real or artificial) and cleaning headstones. Folks will be assigned areas in which to work, and groups are encouraged to come out and participate together.
If anyone has a pressure washer, the gazebo needs cleaning and that would be much appreciated.
The Ruskin Memorial Park Cemetery, formerly known as the Ruskin Cemetery, was founded in 1903 and expanded in 1999 to include a mausoleum and memory garden. It’s licensed and regulated by the Florida Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services; owned by the Ruskin Memorial Park Association Inc.; and managed by a volunteer board of directors, including Clint Paskert, president, Suzi Bredbenner, secretary and treasurer, and Lydia Ramos, Julissa Huerta, Travis Combs and Danny Strickland, directors.
The association is looking for additional board members. If interested in serving, call 813-434-3461 or email email@example.com/.
New things are coming:
The Ruskin Memorial Park Cemetery Association has three capital projects planned for 2024. They include a second mausoleum of niches only, since the original one has only 10 left; a computer system to digitize all records and make them available publicly; and an onsite office.
A Little Free Library will be installed in the cemetery the day of the cleanup, and Bredbenner will be applying soon to have the cemetery designated a historical site.
Smaller projects include restoration of the river bank, adding benches and flower stands at the mausoleum, installing a dumpster and recycling in partnership with Harriet’s Flowers.
“We have already started a recycling program, including casket covers, metal stands and glass containers,” Bredbenner said.
“Our cemetery encourages the community to enjoy the park,” Bredbenner said. “It is frequently used by local residents as a safe place to walk and run. We are committed to being inclusive to the desires of the entire community, while sustaining a cemetery that is beautiful to look at with sustainable landscaping and a minimum of hazards.”
Ruskin Memorial Park Association Inc., a 501(c)13 nonprofit organization, receives no government funding and depends solely on volunteers and private donations, which are tax-deductible.
If you’d like to help, checks should be made payable to the Ruskin Memorial Park Cemetery and mailed to Ruskin Memorial Park, P.O. Box 392, Ruskin 33575.
For additional information or to volunteer, call 813-434-3461, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ruskinmemorialpark.org/.