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Making a Difference: Concordia Cemetery | News

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Making a Difference: Concordia Cemetery
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Saturday was all about making a difference not just in Western New York, but across the country.

Millions of volunteers across the country worked on community projects for Make a Difference Day.

Concordia Cemetery tells a story of Buffalo's past. Saturday morning, dozens of volunteers got their hands dirty to preserve the historic place and ensure a better future.

Several members of the 2 On Your Side team partnered with employees from EnergyMark in Williamsville and spent a rainy day making Concordia a bit brighter.

"We wanted to do something around Veterans day, said WGRZ-TV General Manager Jim Toellner. "We're going to prop up some grave stones, do a beautification project and get ready for Veterans Day."

Concordia opened in 1859 and served three German parishes.
It's the final resting place for nearly 20-thousand people, including immigrants who helped build the Queen City and 450 veterans, more than 100 of which were Civil War soldiers.

Time and neglect took its toll on the east side cemetery and greed did even more damage. Around 2001, a former treasurer embezzled more than 150-thousand dollars, money that was meant for cemetery maintenance.

Concordia was abandoned, but in 2003, a small group of volunteers took over to fix things up.

There will always be a project to do on the 15 acre cemetery and today's volunteers are hopeful there will always be someone who cares as much as they do.

"Buffalo needs more people to get out and do activities," said  Andrew Waters, who volunteered at Saturday's clean up. "Especially right in the heart of Buffalo."

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