Celebrating their lives

Dorothy Naiser (left) and Jackie Watz (right) hung ornaments dedicated to late friends and family at the annual Hospice Support Tree Lighting Ceremony at the El Campo Civic Center on Tuesday. 

The holidays can be tough for grieving families, but attendees at the annual Hospice Support Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday chose to mourn their loved ones by celebrating their lives.

Held at the El Campo Civic Center, the tree lighting ceremony and accompanying brunch was open to families of hospice patients as well as members of the community.

“I think it’s a good way for people to visit with each other, to share their memories, to share their experiences,” Hospice Support, Inc. staff Reneau Gold said. “I think the most important part of all of this is the community coming together to celebrate the lives of the loved ones that have passed.”

The event served as a fundraiser for Hospice Support, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides hospice services to the local community.

Event attendees ordered ornaments ahead of time that they dedicated to friends or family. At the tree lighting, the ornaments were hung on the tree and the group talked, ate and sang Christmas carols.

“If we happen to have someone who recently lost a loved one sitting at a table with someone who lost theirs years ago, there’s that comfort in having someone to talk to,” Gold said.

This event has been held in El Campo since the 1980s, according to Gold.

“If you would come there and visit with the people at the tables, you’re going to find people that have been coming there for 10 to 15 years, because it’s a community event that they love,” Gold said.

Celebration of Life Luncheons and Tree Lighting Ceremonies were held at noon, Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Holy Family Life Center in Wharton, 2011 Briar Lane and at noon on Thursday, Dec. 12 at Fat Grass Restaurant in Bay City, 1717 Seventh.

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