John N. Smith Cemetery
Restoration and Preservation Incorporation
Post Office Box 11241
Southport, North Carolina 28461
The year 2016 has been a “break out” banner year for the John N Smith Cemetery. What has been accomplished is the direct result of the generous and thoughtful contributions made by a diverse assortment of donors and volunteers. To continue down this road of success, we are asking for your kindhearted support.
The Cemetery’s Board of Directors set goals for 2016 that would help us achieve our Mission: To ensure the physical integrity, the community relevance, and the historical significance of the John N Smith Cemetery. What follows are indicators of what can be done to enable the Cemetery to stand proudly as a testament to the considerable role black citizens have played in the development of Southport. Reaching this deserving recognition necessitates raising community-wide understanding of the civic contributions made by those interred in the Cemetery and the persistent pursuit of improvement in the Cemetery’s appearance.
To date, public education activities have included : 1)creation of an informative website, www.johnnsmithcemetery.org,2) a well-attended Memorial Day celebration and parade to recognize the supreme sacrifice made by our nation’s veterans, 3) several media stories in the State Port Pilot, the Star News, and the local cable TV station, ATMC, 4) development of an interactive educational program for local elementary school children and teachers, 5)survey identification of individual gravesites in order to publish a Cemetery map, 6) multiple presentations to civic organizations and funding proposals to local foundations and businesses.
Toward the on-going maintenance and long term preservation of the Cemetery, many groups did more than their fair share, and we are most grateful to: 1) Boy Scout Troop 33 from Charlotte, 2) AARP-North Carolina members 3) UNCW students earning college community service credits, 4) the Southport Historical Society and its outstanding headstone repair maestro, Charles Christiansonn, 5) the Cemetery Board for reviewing contractor bids toward perimeter fencing, 6) Southport Beautification Committee, 7) Cape Fear Yacht Club, and 8) other volunteers throughout the year including our highly committed Board.
Now, as we look forward to the year ahead, we seek your financial support. Funds are needed to: complete the perimeter fence, thus providing public safety and to prevent vandalism; upgrade site signage that can help tell the Cemetery’s historical story; purchase yard maintenance tools for use by volunteers; purchase and install markers for unmarked graves; general operating support for routine maintenance of the grounds; and purchase liability insurance to cover people working in the Cemetery. Additionally, we are hopeful the stream of dedicated volunteers will continue to flow and grow as it has in 2016.
Please use the enclosed donor envelope to make your contribution to the John N Smith Cemetery. We are a 501c3, non- profit organization, so your monetary contributions are tax deductible.
Thank you again for your interest and support of the John N Smith Cemetery.
Judy Gordon, Chairperson