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Zion Cemetery annual fundraiser goes virtual tonight

A historian, a pair of restoration advocates and two students already engaged in grassroots community service will be honored at the annual fundraiser for historic Zion Cemetery.

Adjusting to pandemic safety protocols, this year’s event will be a virtual affair set for 6:30 p.m. tonight (March 18). 

Located at 1426 South Parkway near Bellevue, Zion Cemetery  dates back to 1876 and  reportedly holds the remains of more than 30,000 African Americans. The cemetery was active through the 1960’s before it fell into a state of disrepair and essentially abandoned. 

Each year the non-profit Zion Community Project salutes volunteers, historians and community leaders, who have helped facilitate the clean-up and restoration of the site. 

This year’s honorees include Dr. Charles Crawford, noted historian; Sylvester Lewis, long-time advocate of Zion Cemetery restoration, and Yuri Simmons & Kristen Harwell, Shelby County School students who have been committed to Zion Cemetery’s clean-up efforts. 

“The progress which has been made has not only saved a historic site but has truly been a model of community synergy and cooperation,” said Dr. Tyrone Davis, chairman of the Zion Community Project Board of Directors. 

“We are deeply grateful to the sponsors of our annual dinner who have continued with financial support even as we pivot to a virtual event due to the pandemic.” 

View the Zion Cemetery annual celebration on Facebook and YouTube. 

(For more information, including donations to Zion Cemetery restoration, call 901-345-4100.)

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