Thursday, March 28, 2019

Efforts Making Progress at Edgewood Cemetery

Edgewood Cemetery is currently being maintained by volunteers and a non-profit fundraising effort.
Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Cathy L. Skitko, senior Director of Institutional Public Relations and Hobart’s Run Communications

With the arrival of spring, it won’t be long until the grass at Edgewood Cemetery in the 900 block of East High Street in Pottstown again is growing and the historic cemetery’s 12 acres are in need of maintenance. 

Cemetery volunteers are looking for citizens to lend a hand at a community clean-up and beautification day on Saturday, April 13, beginning at 9 a.m. and lasting until about 1 p.m. Some tools and gloves will be available, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own. 

As many know, the cemetery was abandoned around 2012 – and since then a nonprofit board has been working to raise funds and find volunteers to keep this resting place maintained. 

In October 2018, the first “Stop Complaining and Start Caring About Edgewood” community clean-up day was held, resulting in more than 100 volunteers coming out to mow, rake, plant flowers, and bag debris. As part of that heartwarming effort, an anonymous donor pledged $2,500 if his pledge could be matched.

Roadside fundraising for Edgewood Cemetery.
In fact, $3,800 was raised by early November, largely through small checks, raffle prize sales during the clean-up on Oct. 20, and change collected by philanthropic passers-by.

The Edgewood Cemetery board and Hobart’s Run are thrilled to formally announce that the pledge was happily paid by the previously anonymous donor, Harlan “Bud” Wendell, a resident of Menlo Park, Calif.

He is a Hill School graduate of the class of 1942 and father of two other Hill graduates, Harlan Wendell ’69 and David Wendell ’71; brother of two Hill graduates, James ’35 and John ’36; and uncle of three graduates, James ’73, Jonathan ’75, and John ’64, several of whom have contributed to the cemetery projects. 

Bud and his two brothers are the sons of former Hill Headmaster James I. Wendell, who led the School from 1928-1952, and whose wife, Marjorie (Potts) Wendell, was a member of the seventh generation descendant of the founder of Pottstown, John Potts. Mr. Bud Wendell’s father, mother, and brother James are buried at Edgewood.

Despite the distance from Pottstown to his California home, Bud wished to make an impact and spark additional commitment to the cemetery from our local community members – as clearly was accomplished through his pledge.

“The Edgewood Cemetery Board, Hobart’s Run, and The Hill School are providing strong leadership for community interests,” Wendell said. “There might be many people living in the Pottstown area who have family members resting at Edgewood Cemetery and would provide modest challenge contributions to the ongoing annual maintenance and refurbishing program now and in the future, making Edgewood a treasured and honored place in the community.”

Needless to say, the all-volunteer cemetery board and its supporters want to help inform the community of this shared vision.
Volunteers clean up around the Edgewood Cemetery flagpole.

“On behalf of the Edgewood Cemetery Board, I express our heartfelt appreciation to Mr. Wendell for his generosity, as well as our gratitude to him, Hobart’s Run, and Hill for helping re-energize the Pottstown community’s interest in both maintaining and beautifying this important and historic part of our town,” said Andrew Monastra, president of the Board. 

“We still have a lot of work to do, but, thanks to Mr. Wendell’s gift and the contributions of others, we have a great start toward building a fund to maintain the grounds this coming season, and we are making plans for additional events and fundraisers.

“Our goal is to ensure that Edgewood Cemetery is a self-sustaining entity, and a beautiful place where all citizens can spend time in reflection,” Monastra added. “We would like to not only ensure that the grass is always mowed, but also that we can enhance the grounds with plantings, benches, and so forth.”

To that end, gifts (as well as volunteers) are essential and encouraged at any time. 
Another volunteer cemetery effort is planned for April 13.

Friends can send a check made out to Edgewood Historic Cemetery, Inc. to 740 E. High St., Pottstown, PA 19464. Individuals seeking more information about the clean-up and future community-wide events supporting Edgewood can contact Andrew Monastra at or 610-323-7436. 

Please note that the spring clean-up on April 13 will not feature food or raffles, although events similar to the big fall 2018 event likely will be planned again in the future. The Board always welcomes additional ideas for fundraisers and support!

The Edgewood clean-up will run in tandem with the Spring Pottstown CARES Day in which Hill School, Pottstown High School, and Montgomery County Community College students volunteer not only at the cemetery but with Habitat for Humanity at their local restoration sites; at a community garden at Barth Elementary School; and at ongoing home renovation projects in Hobart’s Run that will provide rental housing to local residents and use the proceeds to fund additional community improvements.

No comments:

Post a Comment