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Nov 3, 2012 8:00 PM by Siera Santos, ssantos@koaa.com

Vandalized cemetery hosts fundraising "crawl"

The Fountain Fairview Cemetery had around a dozen historic headstones vandalized in August. Some were ripped up from the ground and others were shattered in pieces. Many of graves belonged to children who had been laid to rest decades ago.

The destruction prompted UCCS history professor Barbara Headle to create the Friends of Fairview Cemetery and Saturday they hosted their first event - a "Cemetery Crawl."

The guided tour is slated to be an annual fundraiser. The path, marked with small orange flags, included actors in period dress portraying the deceased who reside in Fairview. The reenactors told life stories of the early settlers of the Fountain Valley and answered questions from the intimately-sized tour groups.

The money raised will be used to repair the headstones and buy a security camera system to prevent future vandalism and protect those who can no longer protect themselves.

Headle sees cemetery vandalism as a national problem.

"I want them to stand up to these vandals and say no more. Because one day it's going to be me. It's going to be you. It's going to be one of our members of our own families who are going to be attacked," she said as tears welled in her eyes.

Headle says she can't help but get emotional when she talks about vandals defacing the century-old cemetery. She fondly refers to the buried as "residents" and says how a society cares for its dead speaks volumes.

The City of Fountain's code enforcement supervior also helped coordinate the event. He recognizes Fairview is more than just a graveyard.

"It means a lot to the families here and even to the families not living here anymore," Juan Flores said.

"It's very important for everybody to be involved... to keep an eye out. Like watch our for your neighbor? We watch out here for our families in the cemetary a well."

No one has been arrested in the vandalism incidents and he's hoping a security system will help deter any more from occurring .

If you'd like to contribute, you can contact Darlene Baker at 719.322.2024 or via email at darlene@fountaincolorado.org

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