It was the Great Day of Service recently, when volunteers gathered in Princeton to do good deeds.

175 volunteers joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in collaboration with Christ Our Light Catholic Church in Princeton Sept. 11 to paint fences, build sun shades and restore gravestones.

The annual service day hosted by the Latter Day Saints ended up in Princeton this year. They built sun shade structures for the Princeton Police canine training unit. Volunteers also repainted the iron fence along Rum River Drive near the malls in Princeton.

Finally volunteers helped to clean gravestones and lift stones that had sunk into the ground in Oak Knoll Cemetery. The Princeton Public Works Department helped train volunteers for raising the stones and adding dirt underneath to level them with the ground, according to Kay Malinka, who helped organize the event.

“Some families lose touch once their loved ones are buried,” Public Works Director Bob Gerold said. “The deceased family members are two generations away from being forgotten. Unless there is a request from a family member to lift a sunken flat gravestone, it may be overlooked and not be taken care of.”

Volunteers also took photos for billiongraves.com, which bills itself as the largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data.

The Great Day of Service is an annual volunteer opportunity hosted by the church. This year they chose Princeton and invited other churches to join, an offer that Christ Our Light took them up on, according to Malinka.

Malinka hopes that cleaning and restoring graves in Princeton cemeteries could become an annual, interfaith volunteer opportunity in future years, she said.

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