Monday, November 14, 2005

Loved ones are remembered at the Tree of Lights: for many, a holiday tradition for 22 years

The first butterfly ornament to be placed on this year’s Hope Hospice Tree of Lights is in loving memory of the mother of Hope’s President, Samira K. Beckwith. Her mother was a hospice patient.

Since 1983, area residents have remembered and honored lost loved ones in a very special way during the holiday season. At the Hope Hospice Tree of Lights at Edison Mall, participants make a donation to Hope and receive a butterfly ornament, the symbol of hope and renewal, to place on the lighted tree.

“Many thousands of people, including myself, have participated over the years, and we return to the tree each year as we do our holiday shopping,” according Beckwith. She said that through this tradition, the community has helped Hope to fulfill its commitment to care for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. “For me and for many others, it’s a special way to remember and celebrate friends and loved ones who are no longer physically here but live forever in our hearts.”

The Tree of Lights event begins on the afternoon of Monday, November 21 and runs through December 24. The trees are located in Edison Mall, by Dillard’s, near Santa’s station. Beckwith thanked the management of Edison Mall, owned by Simon Property Group, for providing an excellent venue, alongside a steady stream of shoppers. “This space is a major contribution, and their support of Hope enables us to support the community,” she said.