Anonymous donor challenges Edgerton residents to help repair headstones
If you’d like to donate to the headstone restoration at Fassett Cemetery, contact Edgerton City Hall at (608) 884-3341 or 12 Albion St., Edgerton, WI 53534.
EDGERTON City officials hope a generous donation inspires residents to contribute to the restoration of 50 headstones damaged by vandalism at Fassett Cemetery.
An anonymous donor offered $4,000 Wednesday for the restoration if the community can match the amount, City Administrator Ramona Flanigan said.
“It’s a very generous donation, and I think it speaks to the importance, really, or the feelings people have regarding the cemeteries,” Flanigan said.
Three boys ages 10, 12 and 13 confessed to vandalizing Fassett, St. Joseph and Jenson cemeteries in October, according to Edgerton police.
St. Joseph already has repaired all but three of the 25 headstones vandalized there, said Jon Peterson, cemetery sexton. Fox Construction donated its services to repair most of them. In one case, the family paid to have a memorial reconstructed. The remaining three stones will be repaired at no cost by mason Mark Deegan, Peterson said.
The damage at Jenson Cemetery, owned by Central Lutheran Church, was minimal, said Tom Hartzell, city public works director.
But repairing the 50 damaged headstones at Fassett could be pricey, city officials said. They estimate repair will cost $300 to $400 per stone for a total of $15,000 to $20,000.
Because the boys accused of the vandalism are so young, they probably won’t be made to pay more than $1,000 in restitution, Flanigan said.
But about half of the price estimate is labor, and 10 to 12 people have volunteered to do the work for free, Hartzell said.
If the community can raise the $4,000 for the matching donation, that might be all the city needs, Hartzell said.
“That’s going to be real close,” he said.
The city already has received $927 in donations, so it has a little more than $3,000 to go, Flanigan said. The city council has decided not to allocate funds to the project until it sees how far donations take it.
“We’re going to use the resources we have and see where it goes,” she said.
The city hopes to repair the headstones in spring, Hartzell said.