$1 million for BluffView

$1 million for BluffView
Edis Anderson describes herself as "that crazy woman who wants to restore the beauty of BluffView Cemetery."

The Vermillion woman doesn't believe a cemetery is simply a designated area in a community to bury the dead.

In her mind, it ideally should be a place of great joy and beauty.

That's why she believes the Vermillion community should have at least $1 million available to ensure the perpetual care and upkeep of the BluffView Cemetery grounds.

And she's willing to put her money where her mouth is.

Anderson personally has taken action she hopes will compel Vermillion citizens to share her views of the value of the cemetery to the community.

She has created the "Sidney E. and Edis J. Perpetuity of Beauty Irrevocable Charitable Trust," with two goals in mind: to honor her late husband, Sidney, and to help guarantee that BluffView Cemetery will receive the best of care.

To make sure the second goal becomes reality, Anderson hopes her personal charitable trust will compel Vermillion citizens to devote at least $800,000 in a separate fund earmarked solely for the care and upkeep of the cemetery grounds.

Should the community meet that benchmark on or before April 9, 2009, Anderson will add $200,000 from the "Sidney E. and Edis J. Perpetuity of Beauty Irrevocable Charitable Trust," to bring that total up to $1 million.

Anderson notes that Easter Sunday 2009 is April 12. She feels confident that Vermillion will come together to attend an Easter sunrise service in BluffView Cemetery that day.

"Of added significance for the matching fund incentive is that it is supposed that April 13, 1859 marks the arrival of the first white settlers in Vermillion," she said.

Principal assets of Anderson's trust currently total $100,000. Gifts, memorials and unrestricted funds may be added to the principal, until it reaches maturity and the principal totals $200,000.

Anderson stresses that her intentions are to step aside and let the community become involved in the perpetual care of the cemetery.

But, she admits to being strong-willed when it comes to the finer details of cemetery management. She said she isn't seeking to control the actions of the city or the cemetery board.

She has laid out painstaking details, however, in her charitable trust that must be met before the $200,000 that will be available when it matures will be added to the community fund.

The document lists 27 guidelines that must be followed that range from greater public participation in meetings of the Vermillion Cemetery Board to the elimination and control of rodents and noxious weeds and the perpetual care of gravesites, particularly the resetting of tombstones and markers.

The last guideline in Anderson's charitable trust perhaps best sums her strong devotion to BluffView.

It states, in part, "Ideally, BluffView Cemetery will become a place of great joy and beauty, where Vermillion's heritage and history come alive through pageantry, art and theatre."

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