Begins as a volunteer driven community effort.
In 2011, born out of a personal commitment to do my part to make the community better, I started an effort to clean up the neighborhood I and my family resided in. I started by picking up litter and providing assistance with keeping the vacant lots across the street from 478/476 Lee Ave mowed.
Over the summer I expanded my efforts to include Lee Ave from 478/476 to the intersection with South Chestnut Street.
One day while picking up litter I noticed that half of the IOOF Cemetery had been mowed. I got curious as to why only half had been mowed and came across several news articles while researching the matter.Shaun Jedju
News Articles Referenced by Shaun.
- Cemetery needs more than just short-term attention
by John Miller, managing editor Sep 2, 2011
- IOOF Cemetery owner: ‘I’m trying’
by Jim Davis, STAFF WRITER Aug 31, 2011
- Cemetery’s upkeep a sad state of affairs
by Patrick Martin, Aug 30, 2011
After reading about the matter in the local paper, I reached out to the owner and offered my assistance. I felt compelled, as an individual with a vested interest in my community, to do my part to make the area better for my children, friends, and family.
“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”
One of the most moving experiences, to mold my young mind, had been on a class trip. We went to Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia, PA., the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin and several other signers of the Declaration of Independence. It was there that I learned the importance of honoring our Founding Fathers, their sacrifices and respecting the foundation of this nation that they laid. Over the years this experience, helped grow my passion for history and, through that passion, the importance of never forgetting those who came before us.
My ideals, ethics and respect for cemeteries lead me to contact the owner of the cemetery by phone. I asked for and received permission for me and the other volunteers to assist with grounds keeping.
Through the power of social media
I joined a local Facebook group I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Clarksburg WV. I began planning and coordinating a volunteer effort to restore the grounds of the cemetery. On September 17, 2011 our first group effort to care for the cemetery began. We accomplished our goal to have honor, dignity and respect restored to the cemetery grounds by Veterans Day 2011. These efforts earned us a nomination for a Governor’s Service Award. Aug. 8, 2012 at the Charleston Civic Center, we were presented an award for Family Volunteer Service.
Please take some time and watch the following video.
- 11 people, businesses to be honored for volunteerism by WV governor
By Beth Gorczyca Ryan Published Jul 20, 2012 Updated Jan 24, 2017
- I.O.O.F Cemetery could be sold to nonprofit
by Jim Davis, Staff Writer Published May 1, 2012 Updated Dec 4, 2017
2012 was a great year, the future looked bright. Unfortunately in May 2013 there was a cease and desist order issued. There had been allegations regarding misappropriation of the perpetual care funds that passed to the new owner during his purchase. As a result, a legal dispute between the owner and descendants of those interred at the cemetery developed.
Volunteer Effort halted
Volunteer Effort at IOOF Cemetery Currently Under Cease and Desist Order
By Connect Clarksburg Staff, May 27 2013
From May 2013 Until March 2015, just shy of 2 years, The Cease and Desist Order had halted the Jedju Family’s Volunteer efforts. Unbeknownst to the Jedju Family, The Glen Elk Development Association Inc., became the new owners of the cemetery on September 24, 2013 . During 2014 several attempts where made to mow the grounds by other volunteers and organizations. Hesitant to be further involved, The Jedju Family weren’t aware of the change in ownership until late 2014. Once, Shaun became aware of this latest change in ownership and that the prior cease and desist order was no longer in effect. Talks with Mr. Shaffer of the Glen Elk Development Association Inc., began for permission and assurances to resume volunteer efforts to provide care for the cemetery grounds, and all those laid to final rest there.
Volunteer Effort Restart
After several months of planning, in late March 2015 Shaun Jedju and his family held their first volunteer clean up effort in nearly 2 years. This was a new beginning for their planning and coordinating of volunteer efforts to maintain the grounds. The ordeal of the cease and desist order was motivation to raise funds to cover the expense of legal work and to form a non profit organization. The Historic Clarksburg WV Cemetery Preservation Alliance, by the end of 2016, became officially recognized as a 501c3 Tax Exempt Non-Profit Organization, by the IRS. Nearly a year later, HCWVCPA was granted ownership, or as we like to call it stewardship, of this important historic cemetery.