Easter Sunrise Service Cancelled Office Closed Due to COVID-19 Virus

Did You Know??? We Are a Non-Profit

October 17, 2011

You might be wondering why Memory Gardens is called a “non-profit” or a “not-for-profit,” and yet it seems we are always asking lot owners and other visitors for financial donations. To shed some light on this, let’s examine the terms “non-profit” and “not-for-profit.” These terms are virtually identical, and some state “nonprofit” or “not-for-profit” corporation statutes list them beside each other, suggesting they are synonymous.

A non-profit organization (NPO) does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders, but instead uses them to help pursue its goals. Staff who administer and maintain NPOs are paid.

Examples of NPOs include charities (e.g., United Way, American Red Cross), trade unions, trade associations and public arts organizations. Memory Gardens is a non-profit whose continuing goal is to provide excellent perpetual care to the final resting places of those we love. Our Board members are all volunteers.

Memory Gardens is allowed to charge for its services. For example, there are fees for burials, grave liners, plots, and bronze memorial markers. The fees one pays for these services cover the cost of perpetual care for your loved one’s final resting place. There are no annual fees to pay after the initial purchase. Memory Gardens also has a Permanent Maintenance Trust Fund, which will continue to provide for perpetual care should the Gardens ever become full and can no longer expand.

Why then, does Memory Gardens seek financial donations?

There are many costs associated with running Memory Gardens that cannot be fully covered by service fees. Several features unique to Memory Gardens’ beauty and tranquility require renovation.

For example, the Chapel required such extensive work that it had to be conducted in phases. Phase

I, which involved replacing the roof and various other renovations, is complete. Phase II will consist, in part, of a 500-square-foot addition to offer sitting areas for reflection. The badly weather-damaged feature in the Last Supper garden has long been in need of renovation. However, rising expenses and limited revenue have forced the Board of Directors to postpone work on these projects.

Events like our Annual Easter Sunrise Service also add to our costs. Last Easter, an estimated 500 cars entered the Gardens to enjoy the Service. Every one of our color programs was distributed, along with several hundred carnations for lot owners to adorn the graves of their loved ones. Memory Gardens also hosted a Christmas Celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony last December in which artificial

Christmas trees were decorated and lit. Decorating and later storing these trees requires substantial time from our grounds keeping crew.

Given our growing list of improvements, events, and projects, Memory Gardens now more than ever is relying on the generosity of our lot owners and visitors. Here are a couple of ways to help:

• Planned Giving: a major gift made in life or at death, as part of a donor’s overall financial and/or estate planning. Donations can be cash, appreciated securities/stock, real estate, artwork or other valuable estate items.

• Friends of the Gardens: assists Memory Gardens financially and through volunteer work. Friends of the Gardens formed to promote and perpetuate the beautification and enhancement of the Gardens. In hopes of raising revenue to complete the Last Supper and Chapel projects, the Board is requesting an annual donation to join Friends of the Gardens. Family donations (more than one person) will be $25; single donations are $15. Donations can be earmarked for either or both the

Last Supper, Chapel projects, or general beautification.

All financial donations to Memory Gardens are tax deductible.

Memory Gardens endeavors to provide superior and caring service to the community at reasonable cost. Please help us maintain the timeless beauty of our distinctive cemetery and memorial park.

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