Repair Graceland Cemetery Vandalism

More than 100 gravesites were damaged at Graceland Cemetery in Albert Lea Sunday night. Some of the 106 gravesites damaged dated back to 1892, 1895, 1898 and 1920, said cemetery board President Brad Wedge. “I’m devastated,” he said. “I can’t fathom that someone thinks this is fun or neat. The cemetery has not done anything to anybody. I don’t understand why. Why?”

Pots in the military section of the cemetery were reported tipped over. A light that illuminates the flag at the veterans memorial was reported broken out. Damage is estimated at $14,000. Most of the damage occurred in the northeast side of the cemetery. Wedge advised people to check if monuments of friends and loved ones are damaged.

I'd like to raise at least $15,000 to repair the damage. It will likely cost more as many of the gravestones were decades or even a century old. 100% of funds donated will be given to the cemetery board to be used for repairing the damage. Hopefully the vandals will be caught and there can be some restitution as well. This can't be allowed. Please donate what you can. Thanks,Doc

***UPDATE 11/16/2016***

It just occurred to me that most people seeing this campaign probably aren't going to know me and might be wondering "Hey- who's this guy trying to raise money for Graceland Cemetery? He doesn't even live in Albert Lea..." That's true, I don't. But I have friends and business customers there and that's how I heard about what happened at the cemetery.

I've been friends with Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag since we were kids and this very thing happened at one of the oldest cemeteries in our home town when we were in high school. Civil War era monuments and grave markers were damaged or destroyed. The damage was repaired as best it could be, but you can still see it when you visit and it's very sad. This kind of thing cannot be allowed and we must come together as a community not only in seeking justice against those who did this, but also for the victims of this senseless act, both living and deceased. That is why I put up reward money to help find out who is responsible, and also started this fundraiser to help repair the damage.

In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I've shared this campaign and my promise to forward every dollar donated directly to the Graceland Cemetery board for them to use in effecting repairs and replacements as needed with the board's president, Brad Wedge, Sam Wilmes of the Albert Lea Tribune, and also with Sheriff Freitag and the ALPD officers who are investigating the incident.

So who's this out-of-towner collecting money for the cemetery in Albert Lea? I'm just a stand-up guy who when he sees a wrong does whatever he can to help make it right; and in making my plan with this fundraising campaign known to the cemetery board, law enforcement, and the general public I hope that everyone who feels the same as I do about this atrocity will see their way clear to give whatever they are able. Every dollar helps. Thanks. -Doc

Donations

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  • James Foster 
    • $5 
    • 45 mos
  • Traci Power 
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
  • Dora Rcottone 
    • $5 
    • 47 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 47 mos
  • Barry Allen 
    • $100 
    • 47 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Doc Bohlman 
Organizer
Albert Lea, MN
Graceland Cemetery 
Beneficiary
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