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Scouts' tribute lights up Cedar Lawn

December 16, 1998

Scouts' tributeBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




Each year for the past five years, Boy Scouts from Troop 58 and Pack 58 gather to celebrate the holiday season by remembering loved ones who have died.

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Organized by Rocky Willis, the mother of one of the Scouts, 30 to 40 Scouts make more than 3,000 luminaires and place one on each grave at Cedar Lawn Cemetery on West Washington Street.

This year the luminaires will be lighted Friday at 4 p.m.

Willis came up with the idea as a tribute to her mother who is buried at the cemetery.

"It was a way to give a gift every year to my mother and remember all the ones who have passed away before us," she said.

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Willis' son Kevin, 15, is a Life Scout with Troop 58. He said he enjoys taking part in the holiday event.

"I feel good about doing it because the families come out to see them. It shows respect," he said.

Rocky Willis said the Scouts and other volunteers made the luminaires last Saturday.

The lights are made by placing cardboard at the base of white paper bags and then placing a tea light candle inside.

When lighted, the luminaires will burn about eight hours.

Many of the people who have loved ones at the cemetery come to light the candles personally, Willis said.

"Last year we had cars waiting in the cemetery to see them," she said.

"It's a very emotional time. When you step back and see the whole cemetery light up, some of the boys have tears in their eyes," she said.

Willis said that participating in such a goodwill effort teaches the boys an important lesson.

"You can't be afraid of death because there always is some who will still care enough," she said.

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