“We take care of our own,” said Harry Hafford, chairperson for the Northern Maine Veteran’s Cemetery in Caribou, a volunteer non-profit organization that champions the task of providing a resting place for veterans from the area; and a place for families to honor, and remember their loved ones.

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Among the group’s notable accomplishments on behalf of veterans and their families is a committal shelter. The shelter was developed to serve as a ceremonial space for interments that would provide a sense of peace. It is with that purpose in mind, the comfort of veterans and their families, that NMVCC has decided to modify the design of its committal shelter to make it more adaptable to northern Maine weather.

Hafford said, “It’s really a beautiful structure the way it is, but we’ve noticed that the cold wind and rain can really put a damper on the ceremonies. We want to retrofit the shelter so that it will be more comfortable regardless of the weather conditions.”

Plans for the structure include extending the present north end roof out eight feet to the curved wall; closing the north gable end in; closing the openings from the pillars to the curved wall with doors and light panels to keep weather out; and to put a roll up wind/rain breaker on the east and west ¾ high walls to be rolled down when the weather conditions dictate.

According to Hafford, to accomplish this task is a major undertaking. The funds needed are in excess of $50,000 but plans have been put into motion to secure them. One of the more creative avenues being taken is through a raffle. NMVCC, through a sponsorship with TAMC and PenAir, has secured 2 open-ended round trip plane tickets to Boston, a $500 Hilton Hotels gift card, $250 car rental gift card, and a $500 Visa gift card for spending money.

Raffle tickets will be sold for $10 a ticket or 12 tickets for $100. The winner of the prize package will be drawn on July 1st. For more information or to purchase raffle tickets call Harry Hafford at (207) 768-0525 or (207) 435-6024.

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