Sullivan officials auction off full funeral to raise funds for cemetery repairs

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“We’re auctioning off a funeral and grave plots and headstones. This will be a first for me in 43 years,” said auctioneer Jeff Boston.

Center Ridge Cemetery in Sullivan is in need of a little tender love and care.

“We’ve got a culvert out in front where the arch is,” said cemetery superintendent Dick Crooks. “And that culvert is 133 feet long and it’s right at the arch right up against it. And it’s collapsing.”

The cemetery is owned by and receives subsidies from the city for upkeep, but these major projects require more funding than the simple selling of grave plots.

So Crooks decided a fundraiser was in order to help pay for some of the expenses, making this the Sullivan’s first unusual auction.

“We’ve got a funeral donated from Brust funeral home that is over eight thousand dollars,” he said. “We’ve got a monument for hunts that’s sixteen hundred dollars.”

In addition to the culvert needing a 75,000 dollar insert, several main roads within the cemetery need to be repaved.

“Everybody throughout our community uses the west Washington Street corridor when they come off Highway 41,” said Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb. “Lots of folks do there’s several entrances to the city. Having said that the arch is a historic landmark. It let’s you know you’re in Sullivan.”

The roadwork alone could cost up to 175,000 dollars.

Crooks hopes funds raised at the auction will take some of the sting out of these new projects.

And with a funeral package being auctioned off for over 6,000 dollars, Crooks is well on his way to funding the repairs.

Center Ridge Cemetery is still accepting donations in the form of checks which may be written out to the Center Ridge Cemetery maintenance fund and mailed to 704 West Johnson St, Sullivan, IN 47882.

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