May 14 Membership meeting

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May 14 Membership meeting
Posted: 05/27/2024 - 11:39 am
File Attachment: 1716835177_05:14:2024.docx
May 14, 2024
The meeting was called to order at 6:15 by President Tim Ward. He greeted those members and guests (12) present on Zoom. Both Melody Stepp, Program V.P. and Tim Ward, President were the members present at the Parkland-Spanaway Library in person with the presenter.
Tim introduced the speaker, Larae Liddle, a volunteer from Grave Concerns, a volunteer association of Western State Hospital in Steilacoom.
Ms. Liddle has been identifying, installing markers and cleaning the unmarked graves at the Western State Hospital Historic Patient cemetery for several years. The cemetery has been in existence since the first burial in 1883 where patients and other paupers from Tacoma were buried in unmarked graves. The last person was buried there in 1953. It took many years for the volunteers to receive access to the list of persons buried there and they have been purchasing markers for the graves since. The association has been selling items to raise the money needed (each marker costs $85). The 2024 legislature agreed to fund the remaining $112,000.00 for 1000 markers to complete the project. The association hopes to receive the lists of names of prisoners buried on MacNeill Island federal prison by the end of May and begin another project.
Three years ago, the volunteers began cleaning the markers as well. Ms. Liddle listed the tools needed for cleaning: bucket, carpet knives, soft bristle brushes, spray bottles for water and scissors (for cutting grass). She explained they use warm, soapy water or Simple Green.
Two videos (available on the website) were shown. One about the organization and the other about the tools needed and how to clean the markers.
Our organization was invited to join the volunteers at the cemetery to help clean the markers on Saturday, May 18, 2024 and Saturday, June 8, 2024 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The calendar of events is on the website
The meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m. in order to vacate the library meeting room by 8 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Patricia Gwin, Secretary