Pekin football, Richland Fire clean up vandalism

A few months ago Pekin Head Football Coach Brent Blakely was out at the Methodist cemetery in Richland visiting his father?s grave when a friend showed him an area that had quite a bit of damage.

?It looked like someone had gone out and pushed over 50-60 stones, maybe more,? Coach Blakely told The Ledger. ?A friend of mine took me back there and showed me the damage and I just couldn?t believe it. It was pretty disgusting.?

Blakely knows that kids are often blamed en masse when it comes to things like vandalism, but he knew his players would step up.

?I felt like it was something that we needed to address and we should do it with the kids and remind them that you have to take care of your own and your community. That?s part of growing up and being a positive community member.?

Blakely then reached out to the Richland Fire Department who agreed it was a good cause and decided to share the moment with the team. Kent Whitney from Whitney Monument in Fairfield also brought equiptment and knowledge along with man power to assist in the project. Others brought skid loaders that were used along side other necessary equiptment to get the job done.

?The list of people who wanted to help grew quickly,? added Blakely. ?It?s all been positive and they got the task done and made things right.?