FairHoPe Hospice and Palliative Care Inc. will host a tree-lighting ceremony next week to honor the lost friends and relatives of local residents.

FairHoPe Hospice and Palliative Care Inc. will host a tree-lighting ceremony next week to honor the lost friends and relatives of local residents.

At 6 p.m. on Dec. 7, FairHoPe Hospice will host its 15th annual Tree of Remembrance lighting ceremony at The Pickering House, 282 Sells Road, Lancaster.

As in past years, the event will serve to honor friends and family members of people living and working in FairHoPe's service area, which includes all of Fairfield, Hocking and Perry counties, as well as portions of Athens and Licking counties.

Those who wish to honor a lost friend or relative through the Tree of Remembrance may purchase an angel, dove or bow ornament for $25. All proceeds from the purchases will go to support the hospice, which serves terminally ill patients by providing comfort, support and resources to meet the palliative and grief needs of the patient and their families.

"It doesn't have to be for someone who had services through FairHoPe Hospice," said Susan Nixon Stoughton, FairHoPe Hospice's community development coordinator. "The ornaments can be for anyone who has lost someone and wants to memorialize them."

The minimum cost of an ornament is $25, but individuals and groups can donate more if they wish.

The ornaments can be purchased through Dec. 31 and, upon request, FairHoPe will return them to individuals or families when the Tree of Remembrance is taken down at the end of the holiday season.

"The holidays are tough for people who have lost a loved one," Stoughton said. "This is a great way for someone to remember their loved one and honor them.

"The money we raise will go into this memorial fund. It allows us to provide comfort and care to those who are dying, regardless of their ability to pay."

This year's tree will be lighted by the York family, in honor of Alannah York, a well-known Lancaster resident and member of Lancaster's Fairfield Christian Church.

After battling sight issues for a number of years, York died July 18 from colon cancer, just two months short of her 65th birthday.

"She was a friend to everybody," said her son, Mark York, of Canal Winchester. "She was always well-liked and she stayed happy even through her sickness.

"We want to represent and remember our mom at the tree-lighting ceremony and represent the other people who have also lost their fight to cancer."

York said his father, David, and sister, Suzette, will be on hand for the Dec. 7 ceremony. He said it would help give them closure while honoring Alannah's memory.

In addition, he said, the event will give his family a chance to recognize FairHoPe Hospice for all the organization did to help comfort his mother in her final days. He said FairHoPe and Elizabeth Summers, a volunteer for the organization, went to great lengths to help Alannah prior to her death.

"Hospice, they were great," he said. "There's not one person there that I can say enough about.

"Mom loved them all. They made her feel right at home. We were all impressed and amazed with the people there and the care they gave Mom."

For more information about the Tree of Remembrance or to reserve an ornament or bow, call (740) 475-0656 or (800) 994-7077.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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