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Press Release of March 24, 2015 – “Hands Across Time”


“Hands Across Time” Seeks Volunteers for Project to Honor Fallen Veterans


GRAND RAPIDS, MI, March 24, 2015 (PR NEWS WIRE) – “Hands Across Time”, a volunteer organization, in conjunction with The Spirit of Grand Rapids ™ and local Veterans, is hosting its second event to clean headstones in the Veterans Cemetery at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans on Saturday, May 9, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 3000 Monroe N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505.

The initiative, conceived by “Hand Across Time” founder and local attorney David Byers, is committed to honoring fallen Veterans by ensuring that their gravesites are not forgotten nor left unkempt. “I was saddened when I visited the local Veterans Cemetery on Memorial Day 2013 and saw over a thousand headstones covered with dirt and moss,” Mr. Byers said. “It’s as if no one was truly honoring those who have died to ensure our freedoms. I knew I had to take action and organize an effort to make a change.”

Deb DenHerder, Hands Across Time volunteer, is credited with naming the project. Deb explained, “When I think about the years that they sacrificed, and all the time that has passed, I hope people reflect on their lives as they touch these memorial stones with their hands.”

“There are nearly 3000 headstones that are targeted to be cleaned this year” said Walter Sullivan, Maintenance Supervisor of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. “With ongoing budget cuts and resources strapped, we are excited to get behind this volunteer community effort.”

The first Hands Across Time event in October 2013 brought in dozens of volunteers who cleaned over 1400 headstones. “I quickly learned that many of the volunteers who came to lend a helping hand were Veterans or family members of Veterans,” said founder David Byers. “Each of them had a heartfelt story to tell and they were thankful for the opportunity to give back to the Veteran community.”

In support of the “Hands Across Time” project, the Veterans Cemetery has collected scrub brushes, rubber gloves, goggles, and other cleaning supplies for the project. We now need your hands to clean the headstones and help to restore respect for our fallen heroes!

In appreciation of all of our volunteers’ efforts during the project, coffee and donuts will be available before the event, which will be followed by an “All American” cookout that will include hot dogs, potato chips, fruit, refreshments, and more. Cleaning supplies are being provided by the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and the food is being generously donated by several local business supporters.

“Grand Rapids is a very generous and caring community,” Mr. Byers continued. “I’m confident there will be a heartfelt response by many volunteers to join in this worthy effort on Saturday, May 9, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 3000 Monroe Ave. N.E. Grand Rapids, Michigan 49505.” For more information go to: www.handsacrosstime.org