Once in a while we all could use a little help. And sometimes there are groups looking for a community project to work on. This is how the Fenton Robotics team and Doug Tebo, chair of the cemetery board for the city of Fenton, got together Sunday, Nov. 14.

 Tebo’s wife Shelly was injured in a fall while gardening approximately 10 weeks ago. She routinely helped him with all of his cemetery maintenance projects.

 Without his wife’s help this year while she recuperates from her injuries, Tebo wasn’t sure how he’d take care of all of the veteran flags at Oakwood Cemetery for Veterans Day. He also was concerned about getting the tree and decorating it for the cemetery’s Memory Tree near the entrance of the cemetery.

 Tebo said the Fenton Robotics team reached out to him seeking a community project to work on. The timing was perfect.

 On Sunday, Nov. 14, with the help of the city’s department of public works and the members of the robotics team, Tebo said they were able to remove and retire the flags at veterans’ graves. They also were able to put up this year’s Memory Tree and decorate it with all of the ornaments that have survived past winters.

 Tebo said the teams split into two groups to accomplish both tasks. The first half took on the job of collecting all of the veterans’ flags and fire department flags that spread across the entire cemetery — more than 40 acres. The flags were then retired with honor and respect.

 The second half tackled the job of stringing about 1,700 lights on Oakwood’s “Memory Tree” and then putting on the many ornaments from past years.

 The 11-foot tree was donated by Branching Out Nursery and Landscaping. Tebo said this is the ninth year that the tree farm has donated a tree to use at Oakwood Cemetery.

 Tebo said residents are welcome to hang an outdoor ornament on the tree in memory of a loved one by at the entrance of the cemetery.

 “They did a great job,” Tebo said of the robotics team stepping up to help at the cemetery. “These young students are learning more than robotics by being in this group. They are learning about belonging to the community and giving back. Fenton schools should be proud of the life lessons being taught both in school and in the community.”

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