ACH Auxiliary, Alliance Hospice hold annual memorial ceremony
By Shannon Harsh, The Review, Published December 10, 2015
The lobby of Alliance Community Hospital (ACH) is decorated with two Christmas trees that glitter brightly with gold, silver and purple bulbs placed on them in honor and memory of loved ones. They are part of an annual tradition that includes a special memorial ceremony.
The ACH Auxiliary’s 27th Memory Tree of Lights ceremony was held Sunday in the hospital café. For the second year the hospital auxiliary and Alliance Hospice combined their memorial services into one event.
Seasonal music played on the harmonica by Herb Oyster welcomed the large crowd of guests. Diana Runciman Moore, co-president of the auxiliary, thanked those who purchased memorial bulbs for the auxiliary’s annual fundraiser. Sue Barrick, RN, CHPN, and hospice supervisor, expressed gratitude to the many hospice volunteers and to the community for their support.
Musical selections were rendered by vocalist Luanne Sanor throughout the program. She was assisted by Jackie Sanor who signed the words of the songs. Three of their selections were “Heirloom,” “Grown Up Christmas List” and “Hallelujah — Christmas.”
The Rev. Joyce Williams, who copastors with her husband, Bobby, at New Beginnings House of God/Feed My Sheep Ministries and who is also a hospice volunteer, was the guest speaker. During her inspirational message, Williams shared with the audience about the variety of events and memories that influence people’s lives — grieving, unexpected, happy or lonely. Following each example, she concluded with the positive thought, “Somehow, some way, we will get through it.”
As the two memorial trees were lit, Oyster played “O Tennenbaum.” Jerry Armstrong, a volunteer chaplain at ACH, offered the blessing on the evergreen trees.
Two large scrolls are located in the hospital lobby with the names of honored loved ones inscribed on them. Mary Lou Williams and Lynn Stuckey read the names that appear on the auxiliary scroll. Mary Bloss shared the names on the hospice scroll of all hospice patients who died from October 2014 to October 2015. The readings were followed by Sanor singing “You Raise Me Up.”
Doria Kisling, social worker for hospice, read the poem “I Light This Candle.” Her words were reflections she penned about unforgettable memories of loved ones.
Armstrong presented the benediction.
Closing remarks reminded the attendees that if they want to have the hospice and auxiliary memorial bulbs they must be picked up after the holidays and before Feb. 1 at the hospice office on West State Street or the hospital gift shop.
Refreshments were furnished by hospice volunteers, auxiliary board members and the ACH café.
Red bulbs were placed on the auxiliary’s Memory Tree of Lights as a gesture of gratitude for assisting in the preparation for the ceremony of the day. Those honored were ACH colleagues John Austin, Jennifer Ring, Jessica Bloss, the ACH café staff, engineering and environmental services departments, Moore, Doc Miller’s Tree Farm for the donation of the live tree placed at the front of the hospital, and to DeHoff’s Greenhouse for free transportation of the tree.
The Memory Tree of Lights committee, Mildred Hostetler, David Carper, Williams and Eleanor Carver, and the auxiliary board of directors offered their appreciation to all who purchased bulbs for the fundraiser, and to the title sponsors, American Legion Post 166 and McCrea Manor, and event sponsor Broadway Iron and Metal.