Lighted with hundreds of bulbs in memory of loved ones the Memory Tree stands tall next to city hall each Christmas season.

Lighted with hundreds of bulbs in memory of loved ones the Memory Tree stands tall next to city hall each Christmas season.

Memory Tree lighting supports hospice care

The Williams Lake Hospice Society will be collecting donations over the next two weeks for the lighting of the city’s 21st Memory Tree.

The Williams Lake Hospice Society will be collecting donations over the next two weeks for the lighting of the city’s 21st annual Memory Tree.

The annual Memory Tree Celebration with a service of remembrance and healing and tree lighting takes place Sunday, Dec. 4 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Williams Lake City Hall.

“As the holiday season approaches, we at Williams Lake Hospice Society are mindful that this season can be a time of sadness and loneliness for those individuals who have had a loved one pass away,” says society executive director Kathie Vilkas. “This is why we host a Memory Tree Celebration in Williams Lake every year.”

The Memory Tree Celebration is a free, annual community event and non-denominational service of remembrance and healing.

It is the perfect opportunity to commemorate those who have passed away and a place for the community to gather for mutual support, Vilkas says.

Hospice volunteers will be at Save-On-Foods Thursday, Nov. 17 to Monday Nov. 21 and at Safeway from Thursday, Nov. 24 to Monday, Nov. 28.

They will be at the stores from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each of those dates providing an opportunity for people to choose an ornament in memory of a loved one and make a donation to Williams Lake Hospice Society.

With the donation the loved one’s name is included in the Memory Book. Names are read during the Dec. 4.

Donors also have their name added to a draw for a beautiful handmade quilt, Vilkas says.

“All proceeds raised by the Memory Tree go directly to Williams Lake Hospice Society to support palliative clients and their families in our community, throughout their end-of-life journey,” Vilkas says.

The Memory Tree Celebration, Sunday, Dec. 4 begins at 3 p.m. in the city hall lobby with snacks and refreshments.

Choir performances, reading of names from the Memory Book, spiritual readings and a moment of silence are all part of the celebration.

The commemoration concludes with a community luminary service and the lighting of the Memory Tree outside city hall at 4:30 p.m.

“Everyone is invited to this free event,” Vilkas says. “Whether you attend to remember a loved one and purchase an ornament in their name, or simply to take a couple hours out of your busy holiday schedule to remember your loved ones, please join us.

Bring your family and friends to this community celebration of life.”

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