Ruth Hamilton, Marija Spehar, Terry Schiessen, Julia Candliffe, Judy Doyle and Kelly Schuler of the Hospice society at last year’s Memorial Tree of Life lighting.

Ruth Hamilton, Marija Spehar, Terry Schiessen, Julia Candliffe, Judy Doyle and Kelly Schuler of the Hospice society at last year’s Memorial Tree of Life lighting.

Hospice Memorial Tree of Lights campaign is underway

Starting this weekend, the fourth annual Memorial Tree of Lights fundraising campaign for the Golden Hospice Society gets underway.

Beginning on Monday, December 2, Golden residents are encouraged to make a donation to the Hospice Society, and in return they can hang a tag on the Memorial Tree of Lights. The campaign concludes on Saturday, December 21, with a tree lighting ceremony in the hospice office. Snacks will be provided, and those who have hung a tag are welcome to stop by and spend an afternoon in memoriam.

“It’s a way to remember loved ones or pets who have passed away in this previous year, or in any year at all,” said Judy Doyle, chair of the Hospice Society. “Its a way of remembering at a time that’s difficult for a lot of people, Christmas time, so it’s having that memory on the tree.”

The campaign raises between $700 – $1000 for the Hospice Society each year. Donations are $10 per name on the tree.

The funds raised support the Hospice Society throughout the year and the work they do in the community. It allows them to go into people’s homes, hospitals, and places like Durand Manor, and support people who are bereaved or facing a terminal illness.

“It’s about way more than the money,” said Doyle. “People will come into the office and sit down and chat, we hear all sorts of stories, and people need the time and space to do that. It’s more than fundraising; it’s about being together.”

Doyle also thinks it’s important for people to know that it’s perfectly fine to buy a tag for a pet. For many people, the passing of a pet is just as devastating as that of a loved one, and that grief needs to be acknowledged.

“Pets are a great loss that need to be recognized,” said Doyle. Donations can be made and tags can be purchased at the Hospice Society office, located in the Golden Star’s building. The office is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m.