Special to the Register
Remembering loved ones who are no longer with us can make the holidays a tough time, but Hospice Care Plus is providing a way to honor deceased friends and family during the holiday season.
The annual Remembrance Tree ceremony is 1 p.m. Dec. 14 at Eastside Community Church in Richmond.
The event is a long-standing tradition for Hospice Care Plus and the community.
“The Remembrance Tree is primarily a memorial service, and one that comes at a time of year when many of us feel the need to make a space for those we’ve lost,” said Gail McGillis, CEO of Hospice Care Plus. “It has really taken hold in our community, with hundreds coming each year to remember.”
The Remembrance Tree ceremony gives the community a chance to remember loved ones during the holiday season by placing a personalized memorial ornament on a tree, he said.
After an opening prayer and holiday music, the memorial list of names is read. Guests place their personalized ornament on a Remembrance Tree when they hear their loved one’s name. If no one is present to place the ornament on the tree, a hospice staff member will do so.
The Remembrance Tree will remain on display throughout the holiday season at Hospice’s Compassionate Care Center on Isaacs Lane in Richmond.
Guests who wish to take their personalized ornament home with them may do so immediately following the ceremony or any time between Dec. 16 and Jan. 3 by visiting the center. After Jan. 3, ornaments will be available at the Hospice Care Plus office in Berea.
To request an ornament, contact Hospice at email@example.com or 986-1500. Donations for ornaments can also be made online at Hospice’s website, www.hospicecp.org. There is no charge for the ornaments or for the ceremony, but the organization does suggest a donation ― of any size ― when requesting the personalized ornament.
Proceeds from the event fund all of the programs offered by the organization. ospice Care Plus is a nonprofit organization serving Madison, Estill, Jackson, Lee, Owsley and Rockcastle counties. Services include hospice care, palliative care, bereavement outreach and hospice in-patient care at the Compassionate Care Center. All services are provided regardless of ability to pay.