The annual Remembrance Tree ceremony is set for Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at Chenault Vineyards in Richmond on 2284 Barnes Mill Road.
The event is a long-standing tradition for the community, bringing hundreds together on the first Sunday in December for nearly three decades.
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 remembrance tree. Hospice Care Plus sponsors the event as part of its bereavement program, which provides grief support services to the community.
"Our bereavement program has always recognized that the holidays can be hard for people who've lost loved ones, even when those losses aren't recent," says Chasity Coleman, director of development at Hospice Care Plus. "It's a time of year when their absence is felt so strongly, yet there isn't a built-in way to acknowledge that hole they've left behind. The Remembrance Tree seems to do that for people. It gives us an outlet for those feelings."
Each Remembrance Tree service features a unique memorial ornament. The 2019 ornament is a snowflake created by Berea artist Steve Farmer, owner of the Bittersweet Woodworking Studio.
After an opening reflection and holiday music, the ceremony continues with the reading of memorial names. Guests place their personalized ornament on a Remembrance Tree when they hear their loved one's name. If the person who requested the memorial ornament is unable to attend, a Hospice Care Plus staff member will place it on a tree for them.
After the ceremony, the ornaments will be taken to Hospice's Compassionate Care Center and placed on the Center's Christmas tree. Guests who wish to take their personalized ornament home with them may do so immediately following the ceremony, or they can claim them at the Compassionate Care Center anytime between Dec. 9 and Jan. 2.
Anyone can request a memorial ornament. There is no fee for ornaments, but a donation--of any size--is encouraged. To request an ornament, visit hospicecareplus.org, call 859-986-1500 or 1-800-806-5492 during business hours, email email@example.com, or visit the event page on Facebook. Ornaments can be requested in advance or on the day of the event, while supplies last. Proceeds from the ceremony cover the cost of the event and help fund all programs offered by Hospice Care Plus, a non-profit.
Hospice Care Plus is a non-profit organization serving Estill, Jackson, Lee, Madison, Owsley, and Rockcastle counties. Services include hospice care, palliative care, bereavement outreach, and hospice inpatient care at the Compassionate Care Center. All services are provided regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.