Cemetery gets help from singer Jeremy Messersmith and South volunteers

Cemetery gets help from singer Jeremy Messersmith and South volunteers

Caroline Stevens, Arts & Entertainment editor

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASouth volunteers were found scattered all over the Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery this Saturday for a benefit to raise money for the cemetery. Musical guests included Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, along with Jeremy Messersmith.

The benefit was run by Friends of the Cemetery, a group whose goal is to raise money for the cemetery through the Adopt-A-Picket campaign, which would contribute to the restoration of the historical parts of the cemetery that are in need of repair.

The cemetery is one of 25 historic sites in the Twin Cities in the running for  $1 million grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The public can vote on Facebook for which site they want to recieve the grant, according to the Star Tribune.

South Social Studies teacher Robert Panning-Miller organized the group of South volunteers and came together with Friends of the Cemetery to help the benefit. “I’ve tried to get volunteers to come out as part of just helping promote the history here and then also preserve this part of the community,” said Panning-Miller.

Freshman Seamus Hawley was one of the volunteers Panning-Miller recruited to help with the event. “I feel like this is a great way to give to the cemetery,” said Holiday, stating that he was also there because “I really enjoy Jeremy Messersmith.”

“The reason I signed up at first was because I really like Jeremy Messersmith,” affirmed freshman Charlie Lincoln, “but we also took a field trip here to the cemetery and I thought it was really interesting, so I decided to volunteer.”

Hawley, Lincoln, and sophomore Gabriel Stellar were assigned the task of being floaters, and ended up running the ticket table at one of the entrances. “We might be able to move closer later,” said Stellar, who was also excited for Jeremy Messersmith’s performance.

Freshman Zara Brown was also letting people in. “My dad is really into history,” she said, “we had to come here for a project at school and I just thought it would be fun.”

“I actually started looking into doing something before I knew about the benefit,” said Panning-Miller, “I’ve been bringing students here for probably 15 years, and I just thought it would be nice if they did something beyond the one-time visit each year.”

While the benefit helped raise money for the preservation of the cemetery, Partners in Preservation is currently trying to obtain a larger grant that will be beneficial to the maintenance of the cemetery for years to come.

Food during the benefit was provided by Hola Arepa and Chef Shack food trucks, which attendees enjoyed along with performances by the acclaimed musical guests, all while helping support a historic part of Minneapolis.