Thursday, March 21, 2013

There is Empowerment in Remembering.

Have you ever seen Dr. Suess' hit movie, The Lorax? It's a fun yet cautionary tale that promotes environmental awareness, self motivation and sustainability- all very important things for our society to remember.

As I was watching the movie with my own children, I couldn't help but become excited about a small prop that is used. It is a simple stone with the simple word "UNLESS" engraved on it. As the movie went on the Onceler proclaimed,

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing will get better. It's not."

What a powerful statement! Even more importantly, what a wonderful message to empower our children to realize that, if used appropriately, their voices can be heard to make important changes- changes for the better.

I became inspired by the meaning of the little rock, as did the staff here at Emerson Monument Company, and decided to help the Lorax communicate his message by taking it to the local schools. And I am SO glad that we did because it has been a really fun and enjoyable project for us all to work on!

Presenting Our Stone to a Local Elementary School 

When we presented our stones to the local schools we incorporated it into their curriculum in several fun and meaningful ways.

At one school we incorporated the presentation into their Kindergarten Career Day. I began my career day presentation by telling the kids that I am a Memorialist. (a big word for 5 and 6 year olds!) I told them that in my career I help people remember important people and important events. They seemed to understand that and even had some suggestions about the people and events they think are important. 
I then read the portion of , The Lorax, to them that illustrates the UNLESS rock.

"What do you think The Lorax's important message means? And why is it important?" They had some wonderful (and, I will admit, some very funny) answers! "But why is it important that this message be remembered by future generations?" I challenged.

And, most importantly of all, "Why do you think the Lorax chose to engrave his message on a stone rather than simply write it on paper or post it on Facebook?"

All around us, in our community centers and public places, in our cemeteries, in our gardens, and even in our businesses, there are dedications to those people and events that we regard as important and special. They are individuals, groups and historical events that have defined who we are, where we come from and why we think and act the way we do.

We honor them by keeping their memories alive- forever. But in a world of dwindling permanence, the only way to truly keep those memories alive- even decades after we, ourselves, are gone- is to etch those memories in stone to ensure they remain memorable for generations yet to come.

That is my objective as a memorialist- to tell stories in stone that will be cherished and remembered for generations; To honor the lives and events that have defined us, and to do so in a beautifully permanent way.

My name is Alison Raymer and I am proud to be a memorialist at Emerson Monument Company and to work with the families and communities which I serve.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Emerson's Staff Leading the Industry

Springdale, AR - Alison Raymer, CEO and co-owner of Emerson Monument Company, was nominated by fellow memorialists and elected as the 2013-2015 vice president of the Monument Builders of North America. She was installed into the position at the annual convention and banquet held in Cincinnati, OH, on February 7-10, 2012.

Founded in 1906, the Monument Builders of North America is the largest association of professional memorialists in the nation with a membership of 733 that spans internationally.

When you purchase a monument or headstone from an MBNA member, you are assured of ethical, honest business practices from someone who is committed to his or her industry and art. They are dedicated to providing you with a grave marker or tombstone that will embody the story you want told.

As part of their membership, MBNA member companies sign a statement of policy, The Code of Good Practice. This code promotes fair and honest business practices that, in turn, serve and protect the consumer.

“In this position I will represent memorialists not only from North America, but also from across the world. I will help develop and implement strategic advancement for our industry, continuing professional education and the international exchange of ideas for our members,” said Ms. Raymer.

Emerson Monument Company has been an active part of the Northwest Arkansas business community since 1914 as a leading provider in quality cemetery and civic memorials. The company has also been involved in countless volunteer cemetery repair projects including a large-scale project at the historic Evergreen Cemetery in Fayetteville.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Need Funds? Buy Bricks!

Let's face it, everyone could use a little extra cash every now and then. And in today's economy it can be tough for non-profits, schools and other facilities to raise the funds they need to continue offering the products or services they provide. But, with just a simple phone call to Emerson Monument Co and a little sales effort, your organization can start a sustainable fundraiser that gives donors even more of a reason to pull out their check books.

Engraved brick fundraisers have been around for decades and have been used by both non-profit and for-profit organizations alike. The reason it works is because donors are recognized in a manner that is both fairly permanent and public. Because the public can see who donated, it is not uncommon for organizations to recognize various donor levels by including level icons on the pavers along with donor information.

While planning to do a brick fundraiser there are several questions important questions to ask and address.

Where will your bricks be placed?
    • I have seen facilities incorporate bricks into sidewalks and walkways, place them around planters and garden areas and lay them into walls.
  • Who will manage the brick campaign?
    • The most successful campaigns are those that have a dedicated campaign manager who works closely with the donor and with Emerson Monument Company to ensure all provided information will fit on the brick and all engraved information is accurate. A great campaign manager will also keep track of where on the premises the brick is located so donors may find it with ease.
  • When will the bricks be placed?
    • From our experience we have found that it is typically less expensive to place several bricks at one time as opposed to placing one here and one there.
    • If you envision your fundraising effort to last for several years, we recommend visiting with us about how to appropriately plan and how our on-site engraving services work.
Think your organization can't do bricks? Think again! We have done bricks for the following types of organizations:
  • public schools
  • private schools
  • pre-schools and day cares
  • athletic leagues
  • civic memorials
  • therapeutic treatment facilities
  • arts centers
  • gardens
  • churches
  • animal shelters
  • non-profit foundations
  • cities/downtowns
  • amusement parks
If you would like to explore the possibility of an engraved brick or paver fundraising campaign for your organization, contact Emerson Monument Company and learn how your group can grow!