Girl Scouts in Tifton come across a horrific find - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Girl Scouts in Tifton come across a horrific find

September 8, 2007

Tifton -- When Emily Dorden planned and executed a cleaning of the Greenwood Cemetery; she didn't expect to come across this. "I was, I was in shock," said Dorden.

"An open grave is not what we expected to find. You know there will be some damage, but to find one with a visible skull," said Troupe 374 leader, Patricia Miller.

This is what 60 young girls scouts found Saturday. And there were several other grave sites that also had cracked slabs. "I didn't want to look at it because it really hurt me. I don't want to see my friend like that," said Dorden. 

Emily's friend Brianna was buried at the cemetery in July. It was the horrible condition of the graveyard that inspired Emily to take on the project. "I knew I had to do something. I am 14 and I can't do anything alone so I got my girl scouts troupe," said Doredon.

The girls took time out to clean up the property. "They've cleaned off the cemetery slabs. We've removed dead flowers. We've removed limbs and debris that has been laying around the graves," said Miller.

But why wasn't this cemetery being properly cared for. "I have been trying and fighting to get funds to this cemetery, but the county couldn't give money to a privately owned organization," said District 1 Commissioner, Donnie Hester.

The Greenwood Cemetery was established in 1890, but the land wasn't donated to one person or group. "The cemetery is owned by the colored people of South Tifton, Mr. Tift gave the cemetery to the colored people of South Tifton," said Commissioner Hester.

So it will be up to a community to keep this cemetery up. Commissioner Donnie Hester will be having a ping-pong tournament on September 29th at the recreation center in Tifton. All the money raised from the event will go toward Greenwood Cemetery's up keep.

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