BATAVIA — The annual Tree of Life ceremony provides an opportunity for community members to honor a loved one during the holiday season.

Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, a virtual ceremony will be held 10 a.m. Dec. 18.

“Every year we are look forward to the Tree of Life Ceremonies,” said Ink Young, Director of Organizational Advancement for HomeCare & Hospice, in a news release. “It is such a wonderful way for connecting with families that Hospice has served and also providing a way for anyone missing their loved ones to come together and celebrate the memories.

“The virtual ceremony will include many special ways to remember loved ones such as a slideshow of pictures of special moments and people, and thoughts shared by Spiritual Care and Social Work staff and volunteers,” Young continued. “2020 has been a difficult year for many and continuing and starting new traditions for the holidays is important. I welcome everyone to join us this year in remembering and honoring those important memories.”

Ornament orders and photos must be submitted by Dec. 11. The date will help to ensure names and photos can be included in the Tree of Life Virtual Ceremony.

This year’s ornament is a pewter-finish tree that can be engraved with name or customized to a person’s liking. The price per ornament is $20, plus $5.00 shipping and handling per ornament.

Those who order an ornament can choose to have it mailed directly to them or somebody else.

Additional options include purchasing an angel ornament for $5 plus $5 for shipping & handling. Although angel ornaments cannot be engraved, and HomeCare & Hospice officials encourage people to share a brief note or message about a loved one to be shared during the 2020 Tree of Life Virtual Ceremony.

Those interested may order online at www.homecare-hospice.org/tree-of-life-2020/. Orders can also be placed by calling the Olean HomeCare & Hospice office at (716) 372-2106.

The virtual ceremony will be posted to the HomeCare & Hospice website later the same day for those that are not able to watch at the time of the ceremony. HomeCare & Hospice, a non-profit United Way agency, provides specialized medical care and social/emotional support for patients and families coping with life-limiting illness in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Genesee and Wyoming counties.

For more information and to connect with HomeCare & Hospice, call 1 (800) 719-7129 or visit www.homecare-hospice.org.

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