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Community caring: Bremen group trying to instill pride into town

July 27, 2013

Jessica Flores removes weeds from in-between the brick walkway at the gazebo next to the Bremen depot.

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For more information about Bremen Community Cares, email Gayle Graverson at graverson356@gmail.com or call
574-248-0453.

BREMEN — What started off as talk in a knitting group has evolved into the Bremen Community Cares group.
With its average participants being about 12 individuals and continued interest increasing in others, the group has already begun to cleanup little areas in Bremen.
Gayle Graverson, the coordinator of the group has enlisted the assistance of her daughter, Jessica Flores and her granddaughter.
Graverson, owner of a yarn shop downtown has several people come in for knitting groups and the town of Bremen was the topic of many discussions. Many members have been a part of the Bremen community their whole lives and have seen changes like the recession has brought about.
With the assistance of Linda Arch, Graverson decided it was time to do something about the deterioration of the small community.
“We just figured if you want something done you have to go and do it,” said Gayle.
Arch did extensive research on small towns and what they have done to survive.
Through the research, Gayle learned if a town or small town starts to decline, crime moves in.
The first group meeting consisted of the women calling together everyone they knew would be interested and met in the Bremen library.
“I think that’s what inspires me: I see how other towns are taken care of, I would like to see Bremen do the same,” said Nappanee resident Arch.
Graverson said, “It just took off.”
The group presented their ideas to the town council and were well received. Bremen Town Council members agreed to support the group as best as they could.
“We’ve been working closely with the town’s park director,” said Flores. “There’s only so much they (town employees) can do.”
There are many small improvements the group aims to make as they have already begun by setting up small group projects, tidying up the areas around the overpasses in town and the gazebo next to the depot. There are many other projects in the works like cleaning up the former Clark Station, town entry ways and guardrails.
“We need to pull together as a community,” said Graverson.
The group is intended to keep the town of Bremen nice and to bring people pride to their community. Bremen Community Cares group has high hopes as they would like to bring back “Kiddies Day Parade,” encourage downtown business owners to provide more hours so there is something to do in town, attract more retail to the area and overall create a new start for Bremen.
“I see so many people around my age that just want to get out, once they start having kids they remember the good times and that it was a good place to grow up,” Flores said as her daughter played nearby.
Flores believes that by making small improvements people will begin to restore their pride in their community.
“It’s about making it look good for the people that live here, so they can take pride in it,” said Arch.
Bremen Community Cares group has T-shirts for purchase. They want to encourage other groups – boy scouts, church groups, seniors – all in effort to restore pride in the community.
“We’re a new group and we hope to add more people,” Graverson said.
She said that regardless of age or ability, anyone and everyone is welcome. “Ideas, support, encouragement is all we need,” Graverson said. “Everyone has their own way to help.”
For more information on the group, email Gayle Graverson at graverson356@gmail.com or call 574-248-0453.

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