Saturday, March 31, 2012 opened the week long Tree of Life memorial display in the Crystal Mall, Waterford. This annual event is a tribute that allows us to acknowledge, remember and honor the life of a loved one. The Tree is adorned with hundreds of personalized pastel paper ornaments and stands in the mall as a symbol of renewal.
This event is made possible by the efforts and generosity of our community members. Byles-MacDougall Funeral Service sponsors the event and Crystal Mall donates the space to display the Tree. Tuthill’s Nursery and Garden Center provides a budding Pussy-Willow that stands 10 feet tall. Volunteers from the community gather to set-up the Tree, hang over 600 personalized ornaments and greet guests who come to visit the Tree of Life. The volunteers represent a number of local organizations such as the New London Rotary, Waterford Lions Club and Norwich Free Academy Project Outreach.
A remembrance ceremony took place March 31, 2012 at 4 p.m. at the Crystal Mall. The Norwich Free Academy Ambassadors, conducted by Tonya Laymon, opened with a beautiful acappella melody after which Jeff Nelson, Director of Community Development at Hospice Southeastern Connecticut, welcomed everyone to the event. Mr. Nelson expressed gratitude for all those who support Hospice Southeastern Connecticut and those who have allowed us the privilege of supporting them and their loved one at the end of life. Rev. Dr. Mark Porizky, a Hospice SE CT chaplain, spoke about remembering and celebrating life and invited everyone to think of their loved one as they listened to the NFA Ambassadors perform From There and Sun up Risin'.
The Tree of Life will be on display until Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to visit the Tree and take the opportunity to personalize an ornament. Volunteers will be on hand to assist visitors on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12 noon to 7 p.m. This remembrance is free to the community, but donations are gratefully accepted.
Hospice Southeastern Connecticut provides care in the home and often in skilled nursing facilities for those approaching the end of their life, regardless of age, disease or inability to pay. The organization also provides bereavement services for families in New London County free of charge, regardless of whether their loved one received hospice care.
Hospice Southeastern Connecticut is a community-based, nonprofit healthcare organization in New London County. It is the only regional hospice affiliated with both Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and The William W. Backus Hospital. It is Medicare/Medicaid certified, state licensed and accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program. Hospice Southeastern Connecticut has been the hospice of choice for over 9,000 families since 1985.