GUILFORD, Maine — With little fanfare, a Guilford-area club has worked behind the scenes for more than 25 years to improve the community, from raising funds for a new playground to supporting high school seniors.
Continuing its benevolent support, the Abaris Club now is raising funds to install engraved granite stones at the entrance to each of the town’s cemeteries. The granite monuments cost $1,275 each.
“Every other town has names for their signs, and I just think it’s nice that people would know when they go by a cemetery what the name of the cemetery is,” Nathalee Marsh, club president, said this week.
The town has donated the funds for one of the monuments and has raised about $1,000 toward another. Marsh said she would like to have monuments installed this year at the Elmwood and Lawn cemeteries, the two largest and most visible cemeteries. The club hopes a food sale later this year will raise the remaining amount needed for the second monument. Donations are being sought to help fund the project.
Granite was the choice of the club for the signs since wooden signs don’t last and are easily vandalized, according to Marsh. She said slate was considered but was rejected because of the cost.
“We wanted something that would last and something that would, hopefully, not get vandalized,” Marsh said.
The Abaris Club was formed 25 years ago when the Zephyrus and Carpo clubs, both community service clubs, combined. The projects undertaken by the club over the years have included the Don Osborne Memorial Playground, the tennis courts and flowers for the town’s planters. The club also helps fund a chemical-free graduation, Dirigo Girls State, the Guilford Memorial Library, scholarships, the American Legion’s Gifts for Togus program, and the Kiwanis Club’s annual Christmas program, and it provides portable toilets at the recreation field.
Mail donations to the cemetery project to the Abaris Club in care of Nathalee Marsh, 38 Butter St., Guilford 04443.