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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • Gravestone renovations possible through grants

  • The Jackson County Historical Society (JCHS) through its Board of Directors, has set aside the sum of $20,000 to be used for gravestone renovation in the form of challenge grants not to exceed $5000 to any one cemetery.
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  • This challenge grant is available to any cemetery, located in Jackson County, with some form of active governance. i.e. an association with elected officers and a board of directors, a municipality, a 501 (c) 13 corporation, etc. JCHS is aware of the historical significance of all our cemeteries and that many older gravestones have been damaged, some by vandals and others by the elements. We are also aware that many of those gravestones memorialize men, women, and children who no longer have family residing in Jackson County or are unknown. "It is for those damaged gravestones, whose family and kin are unknown to you, that this challenge grant is intended," said Dr. Elizabeth Jacoway Watson, JCHS president. "Where there is family, every attempt should be made by the governance group to identify that family and let them assume the financial responsibility for the gravestone repairs." The $5000 Challenge grant will match your cemetery Dollar for Dollar up to $5000 on a re-imbursement basis. There is no end date for this Grant, but will end when the JCHS expends its portion of the funding. Payment will be made to your Cemetery upon the presentation of an invoice and a picture of the gravestone before and after restoration. "The JCHS would hope that you will accept this Challenge Grant in the spirit, which it is offered, and that this important, needed project will begin in the very near future," said Watson. Challenge Grant Criteria: 1. Applicant must be an active cemetery (where burials are still taking place) located in Jackson County. Arkansas 2. Applicant must have some form of governance, i.e. association with officers and board of directors, municipality control, church control, or be a 501 (c) 13. 3. Governance body must have an interest in gravestone restoration. 4. Before making an application, Governance body must have a survey of gravestones needing restoration due to the age, elements, or vandalism. 5. Governance body should have estimates of cost for repairs for restoration. 6. Governance body must have evidence that they have made every attempt to notify family of damaged gravestones and to secure their financial assistance in making repairs. 7. Governance body must have a clear understanding the way that the challenge grant works, that it is a re-imbursement grant, i.e. that matching funds are paid on receiving an invoice that the work has been completed as well as pictures before and after the restoration work has been done. 8. The Jackson County Historical Society will not grant any cemetery more than $5000, depending on the estimates provided and the amount requested in the application., and the Society may award a lesser amount than requested, depending on the number or grant applications received. The total amount of grant funds shall not exceed $20,000. 9. The grant period does not expire but continues until the grant funds are expended. 10. It is possible that the grant committee of the Jackson County Historical Society may conduct interviews with the governance body as well as site visits to the cemeteries.
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