A person wouldn't have to spend much time around Charlie Bordelon to pick up on his can-do attitude.

Upon hearing of the vandalism to gravestones at the Elizabeth Chapel Cemetery, Bordelon said, "We can fix this."

Bordelon, who lives in Beauregard Parish, immediately made a trip to the cemetery to survey the damage and meet with John Crook.

Crook, like many who are native to Vernon Parish, has ancestors buried there.

During his initial visit, Bordelon discussed with Crook the process he would implement in restoring the broken markers and the time frame that would be involved.

Bordelon said he would be using the same method he had recently employed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Beauregard Parish, which had also been vandalized. There he restored 40 markers.

After discussing the logistics of the project, came talk to how much Bordelon would charge for the work at Elizabeth Chapel Cemetery. He made Crook an offer he couldn't refuse– he said he will do the work for free, just as he had done at Woodlawn.

"I remember he looked surprised," Bordelon said. Crook accepted the generous offer.

In order to get started on this restoration project, the outside air temperature has to be warm enough.

"It needs to be at least 50 degrees outside before the epoxy that I use will work," Bordelon said. "I use a special epoxy made for this and it's provided free of charge by Maintenance Protection Systems of Lake Charles.

Last Saturday provided the air temperature Bordelon needed. He posted on Facebook that morning that he would start working around noon.

Volunteers quickly began to respond and a plan was put into motion.

Within an hour at the cemetery, Charlie and his crew of 5 volunteers had completed the restoration of one headstone.

As Bordelon methodically directed the workers from one stone to the next, a transformation to the damaged cemetery emerged. So rapid was their progress that entire restoration was nearly completed in a single weekend.

The exceptions that prevented them from completing the entire project are three gravestones Bordelon had to remove from the Cemetery for repair. "I've got three in my garage that have extensive damage and they couldn't be repaired in the cemetery,” Bordelon said. “I've still got a little bit of work to do to them. I still have to take those back up there and take the braces off of two. Other than that we're 100 percent on the repair.”

The restoration of Elizabeth Chapel Cemetery would not have been possible without Bordelon, Crook said. "If he hadn't volunteered to do this, we wouldn't have been able to afford the restoration of these headstones.”

Although the damage to the headstones has been completed free of charge, a fence was also damaged during the vandalism. "We still need to raise money to have the fence repaired.” Crook said. “The company that made it is still in business, but we haven't raised the money needed to buy the sections yet."

For more information about the restoration project or how to make a donation visit the Facebook page Elizabeth Chapel Cemetery Restoration.