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Grant enables new truck for Grandview Cemetery

Salem Community Foundation representatives gather with Grandview Cemetery personnel in Salem next to the cemetery’s new truck, a 2018 Dodge Ram 3500 with a stainless steel dump bed, purchased with $52,365 provided by SCF as part of the organization’s continuous investment in the cemetery. Pictured from left are SCF President John Tonti, Grants Coordinator Melissa Costa, Kent State University Intern Brittany Zamarelli, Grandview Cemetery Superintendent Tom Wright, Assistant Superintendent Mike Farino and laborer Rob Ketchum. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

SALEM –Grandview Cemetery recently received a $52,365 grant from the Salem Community Foundation to purchase a new 2018 Dodge Ram 3500 workhorse truck with a stainless steel dump bed to assist in caring for the cemetery grounds.

Grandview Cemetery Superintendent Tom Wright described the latest donation from SCF as “fantastic.”

“I don’t know where the people of this community would be without the Salem Community Foundation. They’ve helped so many organizations around the community. I totally can’t say enough. We’re so grateful for this help,” he said.

The cemetery located off of Franklin Avenue covers 38 acres used for burials and an additional 48 acres for future development that’s wooded. The roads that snake their way through the grounds cover about 3 miles.

According to the truck description, the paint is a bright white clear coat and the truck itself is a 2018 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Regular Cab 4×4 with a heavy-duty 6.4L Hemi V8 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, heavy-duty 40/20/40 split-bench seat, side steps and tow hook. A key feature is the custom stainless steel dump bed which sits on a specially-manufactured single axle. Normally the wheel base on a truck like that has a dual rear axle, but that would have been too wide to get between the rows of headstones, so the bed was specially made to work on a single axle.

Wright said the truck will be used for a variety of jobs, including hauling dirt, brush and equipment. It replaces a 1985 dump truck which was also purchased by SCF. After 34 years of continued use, the four-wheel drive no longer worked and the dump bed and hydraulic hoist were worn out.

The cemetery also has a Dodge Ram 2500 truck with a snow plow purchased in 2007 with SCF funds which is used to plow snow, haul planks for burials, haul tools and equipment, and load leaves in a boxed compartment with an attached leaf vacuum. Other projects supported through SCF included the wrought-iron gates at the entrance and paving.

“Salem Community Foundation takes great pride in Grandview Cemetery. The new Dodge Ram truck will help to provide upkeep and maintenance of the grounds at Grandview Cemetery which is the final resting place of just under 14,000 interments,” SCF President John Tonti said. “We manage 120 funds, which directly benefit local organizations, scholarships, and charitable purposes. More than $60 million has been awarded in grants since the community foundation’s establishment in the late 60’s.”

The Salem Community Foundation began in January 1966 as a public charitable trust and continues to work diligently with local partners to improve the quality of life by supporting a wide range of Salem area programs, projects, and scholarships, a press release said.

Community impact grants are made possible by donors whose generous contributions help build a permanent resource to respond to the community’s changing needs. Donors entrust the allocation of charitable funds on their behalf to the Salem Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.

“Making grants is the heart of what we do at the Salem Community Foundation. Every year, our community foundation provides nearly $2 million to non-profits, community entities, and college-bound students. We fund a variety of causes directly promoting a sustainable impact toward the betterment of the Salem area,” SCF Grants Coordinator Melissa Costa said. “Our Grants Screening Committee, composed of experienced community members, conducts thorough evaluations of completed grant applications. The Board of Directors makes the final approval at their quarterly board meetings.”

In the press release, Costa noted that anyone having an interest in the history or information on loved ones buried at Grandview Cemetery can visit the Salem Public Library website where there’s free access to a online database containing Grandview Cemetery burial records and a detailed map highlighting the locations of section numbers.The website can be accessed at www.salem.lib.oh.us.

The Salem Community Foundation will accept requests for financial assistance with the next deadline being Dec. 1 for projects to be funded in the first quarter of 2020. Grant guidelines and application forms may be downloaded from the Salem Community Foundation website at www.salemcommunityfoundation.org.

Establishing a fund, donating to an existing fund, or making provisions in a will for a charitable donation are ways to impact the Salem community with help from SCF. To learn about creating a fund, call the Salem Community Foundation office 330-332-4021.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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