Industry News

American Cemetery Announces 2012 American Cemetery Excellence Winner

WALL, N.J. – American Cemetery magazine has announced that East Lawn Memorial Park is the winner of its second annual American Cemetery Excellence (ACE) Award.

From its beginnings in 1904 as a small country farm, East Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries has grown to become an integral part of its Sacramento, Calif., community. At the heart of it all is East Lawn Memorial Park, adorned with majestic redwoods, beautiful architecture and lush greenery at every turn. Its 40 acres offer serenity and solitude away from the hectic city life just minutes away. Yet East Lawn is more than just a pretty place – it’s a place where history comes alive, community involvement is celebrated and high standards of performance, integrity and compassion are practiced day in and day out. It’s easy to understand why East Lawn was the perfect choice for the 2012 ACE Award.

“We are all very honored by this award. It is truly a team accomplishment and each of my teammates, regardless of position in the company, has contributed in special ways to our accomplishments,’’ said Alan Fisher, president of East Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries. “It’s wonderful for all of us to have received this recognition.”

“There are so many cemeteries that are doing great things to serve their communities, and East Lawn is certainly among them,” said Thomas A. Parmalee, executive director of Kates-Boylston Publications. “We were very impressed by its work in honoring those who have died from Alzheimer’s, its numerous outreach efforts and the support it gives and draws from its community. We were not surprised to learn that most of East Lawn's employees make a career out of working there because the cemetery has relied on some great staff to accomplish so much.”

Judging criteria for the award included:

  • Community involvement
  • Grounds maintenance
  • Innovation
  • Cemetery performance
  • Exemplary team spirit

In addition to East Lawn Memorial Park being honored as the 2012 ACE award winner, American Cemetery also recognized four runners-up:

  • From its humble beginnings, Floral Haven Memorial Gardens in Broken Arrow, Okla., has grown to become one of the area’s most important – and well-respected – cemeteries in the area. Innovation reigns at the cemetery – from the area’s first permanent “scattering” ossuary to a newly developed three-tiered “Gatherings of Remembrance” offering at its reception facility.
  • Eighty-three years after its founding, Jefferson Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Pittsburgh still remains family owned and operated. Thanks to founder William Neel’s vision, the 380-acre cemetery now features 38 traditional ground burial gardens; 14 gardens with cremation niches; 24 garden statues of bronze or marble; six 30-foot granite columns from the Bank of Pittsburgh and five original Roman urns from the City of Pompeii.
  • Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum is one of Cincinnati’s most visited sites. Spring Grove is the final resting place of some of the most influential people in history, and it is also a place for the living, hosting horticultural classes, 5K races, tours, weddings and charitable events.
  • As the owner and president of Hillcrest Memorial Park in Hermitage, Pa., Tom Flynn has used out-of-the-box thinking to not only help his cemetery survive, but also thrive. Flynn has nearly doubled the cemetery’s size, established a specific veterans section and in the wake of the militant takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran, established the Avenue of 444 Flags, which has emerged as a nationwide symbol of patriotic spirit.
  • An article on the runners-up was published in the November issue of American Cemetery magazine, with the winner was announced in the magazine’s December issue.

    Posted Dec. 10


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