Friday, June 6, 2008

Business Everlasting

Why do you think Fairview Memorial Gardens is a member of the Chamber of Cowbirds? What do they get in return for their dues of several hundreds of dollars annually? Okay, you could ask that of most businesses that join, but, really, what are the benefits to the residents and plot owners in our largest local cemetery?

The Cowbirds say their mission is "
promoting a strong business climate in Fayetteville and by facilitating positive community interaction that will result in continued economic development and enhanced quality of life." Economic development and quality of life are probably not among the top goals of the Fairview residents, but who knows? Certainly not much interest in the "continuing pursuit to promote tourism and relocation throughout our region," unless you'd be Tony Alamo's ex-wife.

Benefits of Cowbird membership are, according to their own website,
great networking opportunities at Fayetteville Chamber Young Professionals Business After Hours events," and the exciting opportunity to have "breakfast with the Chamber and tell us about you and your business at Business Before Hours." Paying dues "is a great way to excel your business, gain key contacts and knowledge through fellow chamber members to further enhance your business and to attend invaluable networking events." I doubt that those were the tipping points for a cemetery to join. Maybe it was the chance for "Ground Breakings and Ribbon Cuttings for your new business," especially the groundbreaking part.

Anyway, it just served as a reminder that the Cowbirds see an opportunity for getting dues even from a cemetery, and that Fairview Memorial Gardens is really just a business. The corporate charter for Fairview Memorial Gardens, Inc. was dissolved back in 1993, and it was acquired by
Equity Corporation International Cemetery Services of Arkansas and then through merger with the scandal-riven Service Corporation International in 1999. Who knows what corporation owns it now and gives the devil his dues?

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