The trustees of Chippewa Falls' Forest Hill Cemetery take their roles seriously, knowing they've been entrusted to keep the cemetery looking as well-groomed and as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
"It's our responsibility to keep it beautiful, and it's our concern to see that the cemetery always looks nice and there are funds to take care of it," said retired funeral director Bill Volker of Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services.
To help ensure sufficient (and sustainable) funds will always be available, cemetery officials recently created the Caring for Forest Hill Cemetery Fund.
"One of the reasons that we started the fund was because operational expenses exceed our income," explained Chuck Norseng, a practicing attorney with Wiley Law in Chippewa Falls and president of the Forest Hill Cemetery Board. "Our income only comes from donations or from grave spaces or from earnings on investments."
The hope, in establishing the fund, was to transfer the cemetery association's assets into a fund that anyone could donate to, creating an endowed fund that would serve as a generating "backup fund" to supplement the annual needs, Norseng said.
"We're the stewards of that cemetery, and we want to do it well," he said. Volker agreed.
"Drive through the cemetery. It's beautiful," he added. "Our hope is that it will continue to be that. Our hope is to get the word out to people who have loved ones buried up there to say 'This is your opportunity to donate to make sure that your loved one's resting place will always be beautiful."
Distributions support operations of Forest Hill Cemetery.