By Amy Wadas

APOLLO (KDKA) — After some scrubbing and power washing, the red spray paint is washing right off of each headstone at Riverview Cemetery in Apollo.

“I am so pleased but actually shocked that it’s working this well,” John Dioguardi with Rome Monument said.

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John Dioguardi of Rome Monument traveled all the way to Apollo from Monaca to help out.

Sandra Wolverton, who has relatives buried here is grateful. Her relatives headstones were vandalized.

“I’m just glad to know that there’s still nice people out there that would give up their time to come to our little town of Apollo and try to do the best they can do to get the paint off of the tombstones,” Wolverton said.

Dioguardi and his crew are using what’s called Elephant Snot, a chemical that came all the way from Minnesota.

“It was used by a dealer in Kentucky who had encountered the same type of incident. He was successful with it,” Dioguardi said.

Success is an understatement.

“We are very lucky. We are going to make a lot of hay today. I believe our men will clean 100 memorials today,” Dioguardi said.

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“A total of 199 headstones were vandalized with red spray paint, but if all goes well, crews with Rome Monument anticipate getting everything cleaned up by Friday.

The chemical soaks for about 15 minutes then is rinsed away with a power washer.
But Sandra Wolverton says she won’t easily forget that someone caused this extra work.

“I just hope they catch the persons that they prosecute them to the fullest and not just slap them on the hand and let them go,” Wolverton said.

“Can’t rectify what happened in people’s hearts. Can’t fix today,” Dioguardi said.

Rome Monument is doing the clean-up for free.

However, people have been donating to Riverview Cemetery.

Cemetery officials say they would like to use the money to pay for costs, but Rome Monument wants the cemetery to use it for security cameras, instead.

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