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Community Helping Fund Gravestone Repair Costs

A local community is coming together to help cover the costs to restore a historic cemetery after it was vandalized.
A local community is coming together to help cover the costs to restore a historic cemetery after it was vandalized. Boalsburg residents are doing what they can to help pick up the $100,000 tab to fix over 50 gravestones that were found toppled over earlier this month.

"I think it's so sad that somebody could do something so horrible," says Gail Whitman, a Boalsburg resident who attended the Bonfatto's fundraiser.

Whitman, along with hundreds of other people from around the county, lined up to help save the graves.

"It's for a good cause - fixing the graves," Rod Stahl, another Boalsburg resident.  "And frankly, it means I don't have to cook tonight!"

The Boalsburg cemetery means something different to every person who came out to show their support.

"Our family is a member of the Zion church," says Damon Roberts, a man who came out to show his support for the historic graveyard.  "It's obviously something that is very close to us when it happened."

"It;s part of the town's heritage and also the nation because this is where Memorial Day started," says Stahl.

"The things that were damaged or destroyed is history," adds Robert Gordon, the second assistant chief with the Boalsburg Fire Company.  "Being a small area, everybody knows everybody; everybody supports everybody.  Everybody's got at least somebody, or knows somebody that was buried down there, who's been affected by this."

The majority of the stones that were vandalized date back to the 1800s, with three of them belonging to Civil War veterans.

"Regardless of who's grave it was, the fact that it was disturbed like that is chilling," says Stahl.  "It's just wrong it happened."

Supporters hop the people responsible for the damage learn a lesson.

"I just want them to help pay for it or help fix them," says Whitman. "They have to know you can't do something like that."

State College Police are offering a $3,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest or conviction in the case.  If you have information, you are asked to contact them at (814)234-7150.

Bonfatto's exceeded their fundraising goal of $10,000 by making more than 1,000 dinners.
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