Through the aid of local business owners and dozens of volunteers, the iron fence at the Woodstock Cemetery got a fresh coat of paint recently and will be repaired. Woodstock Hardware owner Vince Christofora provided the materials and rounded up the volunteer labor to paint the fence along Rock City Road.
The painting started July 11 and was finished October 6. “We had twelve to 15 people at any given paint party,” Christofora said. “We met at least once a week, sometimes two times.”
Catskill Mountain Pizza donated and delivered pizza to feed the hungry crews.
Beau and Chuck Brink of Fishcreek Iron Inc. in Saugerties have volunteered to repair sections of the fence that are in bad shape.
“The best part was during that time, when people became aware of it, they came out to help,” Christofora said. “A lot of people drove by and cheered.”
Lending their hands were a who’s who of Woodstock family names including Vandebogart, Longyear and Reynolds. Many brought a child to help.
A task force was formed in 2018 when the town took over the cemetery from the financially insolvent Woodstock Cemetery Association. Christofora said he offered help when he met cemetery task force chair Terry Reynolds at the Memorial Day ceremony in 2019.
The town government was awarded a $210,000 grant from state funds to municipalities that assume control of cemeteries, but has only received $55,000. The rest is stalled due to Covid-related cashflow issues.
Christofora said he was committed to help regardless of the fiscal hiccups.
Shea Cocks, who was cemetery superintendent before the takeover and is a town maintenance employee, helped the volunteers by making sure the grass was cut, Christofora said.
Christofora and his band of volunteers aren’t done yet. They’re busy with other projects including Rick Volz Park, where they constructed a new pavilion, rebuilt pitching and batting cages, and reseeded the infield so it will be ready for play whenever Covid restrictions are lifted.