A lot of the money for a new electronic directory at the North Platte Cemetery has been raised but there is a ways to go, the city council learned Tuesday. There are 10,140 graves at the cemetery but no directory, said Ruby Coleman, Vice President of the North Platte Genealogical Society.
Coleman said fundraising is well underway, with donations amounting to $10,140. But, she said at least $25,000 is needed.
Coleman spoke to the council at a work session.
She said the Mid Nebraska Community Foundation donated in May, adding to donations from individuals, memorials and NebraskaLand National Bank.
Coleman said that the Genealogical Society has also raised money at bake sales in November and May during the library’s book sales. Another bake said will be held in November, she said.
During the Memorial Day weekend, volunteers from the society helped people find graves at the cemetery. They collected $300 in donations for the courtesy, and received many favorable comments too, Coleman said. Also, the group recently applied for a grant from the Union Pacific Railroad Foundation, which they hope to receive early next year.
Councilwoman Judy Pedersen asked Coleman to let the council know how the grant turns out. She said the council might consider a contributing grant from the city.
Steve Richman of Windy Prairie Systems, Inc. demonstrated a miniature version of the electronic directory, with a map. The directory operates with a touch screen and gives verbal instructions to users to pinpoint graves. It can be programmed to display pictures of the deceased, memorial dedications and other special features.
This project would re-purpose a portion of the small building near the east entrance, off Rodeo Road. Software to manage and update the data base would be purchased, Coleman said.
Donations are tax deductible and can be made to the North Platte Cemetery Directory Fund, c/o the North Platte Genealogical Society, or to the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation, she said. The funds are accumulating with the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation and are drawing interest.