By Alex Ronallo

Morbid messages are grabbing people’s attention in Northeast Wisconsin. An area funeral home says its new billboards are aimed at saving lives.

The four billboards in the Fond du Lac area include one specifically aimed at teenage prom-goers, but that’s not all. The ads for Zacherl Funeral Home in Fond du Lac also convey warnings about heroin.

FOX 11 spoke with the president of the funeral home, Peter Zacherl, who said he’s tired of holding services for senseless deaths.

Zacherl Funeral Home is using the billboards as a wake-up call.

“I don’t know that anyone would pay attention to the four of us, standing on a billboard saying, ‘we care,’ but they give attention to this,” Zacherl explained.

The billboards, featuring hearses and caskets, are aimed at teens and young adults…warning them about dangers like heroin use.

Zacherl told us the idea came following a rise in the deaths of young people brought to his business.

“When we stand at the front door and we watch our friends come up to make arrangements for a funeral that is not natural…it’s exhausting,” he said.

Zacherl explained to FOX 11 a mixture of sadness, anger and frustration led to this ad campaign.

“This isn’t standard advertising for a funeral home. So we were a little bit nervous about that and not wanting to offend anyone,” he said.

So far Zacherl said the response has been positive, especially from those fighting the same fight against heroin.

“We see it all the time. We see it all the time,” said Lt. Todd Shippee with Fond du Lac Fire Rescue, who told FOX 11 the billboards are a good idea and hopefully they can spark a conversation to start saving lives.

“It’s another venue, another reminder, another stark reminder. I think it just might make a difference and save one or two lives,” said Shippee.

Zacherl told us his funeral home alone buried five people because of heroin overdoses last year. He said he wants it to stop.

“There’s help out there. It’s not easy. Everybody knows it’s not easy, but the first step is up to you,” Zacherl explained, going on to say if these signs can get the message to just one person before it’s too late, it will be worth it.

The billboards will be up through the end of the month.

Zacherl told FOX 11 the ads have gotten attention from heroin support groups from around the state and from as far away as Texas.


Article Credit: