For the 30th year in a row, the 100 Mile District Hospice Palliative Care Society is preparing to light up the Memory Tree.
This Memory Tree promotes healing and acceptance for those who have suffered a loss. The year, the event will be held at the 100 Mile House Community Hall.
“It has been a very cherished event for people to honour their loved ones that aren’t with them anymore,” said Hospice executive director Tracy Haddow.
Haddow is inviting the public to register their loved ones’ names in red books across the community. Books are available at B.J.’s Doughnuts, Pharmasave and Donex Pharmacy & Department Store. A fourth book will also be available at several community events including the 2021 Christmas Market at 108 Community Hall Nov. 28 and Outdoor Christmas Market at the 108 Heritage site Dec. 4.
Along with the book is a box containing Christmas ornaments for participants to take home to hang on their tree in memory of their loved one. Haddow said participants can also leave a donation for Hospice if they wish.
The books should be returned to Hospice Dec. 8, so the names can be compiled into a list to be read during the Memory Tree Celebration Dec. 10. Last-minute registration can take place at the event for those who come early enough.
The ceremony will start at 6 p.m. but people can start arriving at 5 p.m. Masks and proof of vaccination is mandatory. A Zoom livestream will be available for those unable to attend in person.
“At the ceremony, people will be able to choose a lightbulb that they can come up and place on the tree while their loved one’s name is being read,” Haddow said.
Each lightbulb will be lit up on a Christmas tree in the hall. At the end of the ceremony, the light bulbs will go out while the lights on the official Memory Tree located by 100 Mile Fire Rescue on Horse Lake Road will light up. People can drive by and remember their loved ones for the rest of the season.
“There are people who come back year after year because they find comfort in it and they enjoy it and it meets a need for people,” Haddow said. “(Next to 2020), in the previous several years before we were hitting about 100 people coming out to the ceremony.”
Haddow added this holiday season Hospice is also running its Winter 50/50 draw to raise money to support Hospice’s services. There are 1,000 tickets available this time each going for $50, with a total possible payout of $25,00 depending on sales.
Tickets are on sale now at LifeCycle Financial, Pam’s Food Services, 108 Supermarket, the Crafters Market, Donex, Sugar Shack in 70 Mile, Lone Butte Sporting Goods, Pharmasave and the Hospice Office until Dec. 20. The draw takes place on Dec. 22.