Cemetery hosts its first Oktoberfest fundraiser

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.And with the nearly $30,000 they earned, officials believe this will be enough to help it stay in business. “It went really well,” said Randy Wiggins, president of the El Monte Cemetery Association. Most of the proceeds came from the raffle ticket sales, but the Rosemead Moose Lodge also will donate $1,100 to the cemetery from its beer sales. “All in all, everyone had a good time,” Neil Sorensen, administrator for the Rosemead Moose Lodge. The cemetery, located across from Rosemead High School, has been in financial trouble for several years. According to officials, the El Monte Cemetery Association, which oversees and owns the site, has been losing money and has been pursuing ways to help the cemetery by trying to preserve it as a national historic landmark. ROSEMEAD – Children climbed rocks, longtime residents sipped beer and a band played as couples strolled through the Savannah Memorial Park on Saturday. This was the first Halloween Oktoberfest – a fundraiser for the four-acre cemetery on Valley Boulevard that dates back to the 1800s – and some are saying that it was such a success that more events will follow. “I don’t think I could have envisioned anything better than it was,” said lead organizer Barbara Murphy said. “I am very happy with the way it turned out.” The event, which attracted at least 10,000 people, was organized by residents who were on a mission to save the cemetery. In 2005, the association, made up of those who own plots in the cemetery, spent $34,000 but only brought in $9,000. Operating costs were cut in 2006 to $22,000. The cemetery has graves from the 1840s and is the final resting place of a veteran of the War of 1812. City leaders said they were glad the event could help raise money for the cemetery as well as build a sense of community. “I was incredibly impressed,” said City Manager Oliver Chi, “with the support from the community for attending the events and incredibly happy with the support of the staff.” The event came to fruition after Murphy along with Rosemead resident Francis Chavez were able to get city staff, elected officials and the parks and recreation department to plan the event. “For a first-time event, it was a great turnout,” said Murphy, who now has plans for a citywide rummage sale in the spring. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2477 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more