BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Every year, American Cemetery & Cremation Magazine, the leading trade magazine focusing on the cemetery business, honors the best-run cemeteries in the country with their American Cemetery Excellence Award. This year, out of dozens of cemeteries considered for this prestigious award, Greenlawn Funeral Homes & Cemeteries was recognized as one of only four finalists.
Under La Mar’s leadership since 2009, Greenlawn has grown dramatically to better serve the needs of Bakersfield and greater Kern County Residents.
La Mar says “It’s important to try new things, we can’t be stuck in the past doing the things the same way we’ve always done things.”
In 2011, recognizing that families were increasingly looking for less somber venues for their services, Greenlawn built their spacious, modern, bright Celebration of Life Center at its Southwest location.
While COVID-19 has forced significant changes in how cemeteries and funeral homes serve their families, Greenlawn took the lead with family-centric solutions, including initiating a street-visible memorial to all who have been served by Greenlawn during the pandemic period. Featuring green ribbons along the front fences of both Greenlawn cemeteries, each ribbon bears the name of a person whose funeral was conducted during the pandemic.
“There are many things we cannot do during this time,” Mr. La Mar said, “but we are spending our time focusing on what we can offer families to help in the healing process.”
As the ACE Award announcement letter noted, “To that end, they have gone well past the efforts of most cemeteries in being a center for public education, cultural enhancement, faith-based programs, and support for those who have valiantly served their country.”