History of Elmwood Foundation
With continued foresight, the Trustees of Elmwood Cemetery identified the need to grow awareness of Elmwood Cemetery and to adopt a structure that would allow all organizations interested in restoring historic places and sharing history with others to aid in its support. In 2005 the HIstoric Elmwood Foundation was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) corporation. This complemented the not-for-profit cemetery and enabled the HIstoric Elmwood Foundation to pursue donations from other foundations, corporate and private, as well as personal donations.
The cemetery trustees chose a Board of Directors. Cemetery Trustee Miss Terry Book, a descendant of an original cemetery trustee, accepted the charge to guide and develop the Foundation. Directors were chosen for the Board for their commitment to Elmwood, Detroit and history.
The Foundation Board has revitalized community events at Elmwood with its robust tour program, Veterans Day and Memorial Day celebrations. Also, it has brought new programs to Elmwood with the annual tree lighting program which honors the year's deceased, Arbor Day festivities, Donor Receptions, Civil War dedication, poetry readings, photography classes, picnics next to the pond. In 2015, Elmwood was proud to be the sole Detroit cemetery to take part in the Wreaths Across America Celebration, designed to place wreaths on the graves of our nation’s veterans. Through the Elmwood Foundation's programs, thousands come to Elmwood each year to experience and enjoy the grounds.
The Board has increased its outreach to the community and sought grants to make Elmwood widely accessible. We have added benches for visitors and placed them throughout the cemetery along our most highly visited areas, and a transportation vehicle for the disabled to use while on tours, or visiting sites with our staff.
The Board of Directors works closely with the Trustee of Elmwood Cemetery as they select restoration projects. These have included the gatehouse, chapel, pond, gardens, arboretum and roadway. Tremendous progress has been made in restoring the treasure that is Elmwood Cemetery.
The Foundation has expanded its educational outreach through the development of three self-guided tour maps, available free of charge in the office. These maps on Leadership Legacies, Business Visionaries and African American Heritage will also be converted this year to a downloadable audio tour, thanks to the generosity of a grant by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
The Historic Elmwood Foundation's Board of Directors is actively studying options to pursue its mission: To preserve the history and educational significance of the Cemetery and those laid to rest in the cemetery; and to develop social, cultural, and educational programs to benefit the community.
The Officers and Directors of the Historic Elmwood Foundation:
Terry P. Book
John S. Snyder
Father Steven J. Kelly
Elizabeth Thurber Crawford
Joan Frear Capuano