Gina Bradbury says that this Christmas season’s Memory Tree Light-up event honouring the memory of loved ones is going to continue but with changes. “No candles, no hot chocolate, and no choir,” she says. “We are going on Facebook Live one of these nights.”
However, the tree’s heart-warming lights in downtown Virden sprang to life last week.
Bradbury, treasurer for the Memory Tree committee, along with a group of volunteers and President Richard Reiner are continuing this service.
Proceeds from the Memory Tree are donated to Virden Cemetery. From the 2019 Light-up, the installation of a wheelchair accessible bathroom was an important improvement to the beautiful cemetery grounds.
The organization has been around for many years. Bradbury explains, “Our founding members had lost their son and started this organization in memory of, not just their son, but other grieving parents. Those grieving parents formed this committee and here it stands.”
Memory Tree lights bring the realization there are many who are missing family during the Christmas season.
“We remember our loved ones daily, but on the evening that we have for our Light-up, it brings people together not only to remember our loved ones but others as well. And we see that by all the names on our boards that we set up on either side of the tree,” says Bradbury.
For $5 per bulb, people celebrate loved ones’ memories and throughout the season their names will appear on the memorial board next to the Memory Tree as donations are made.
Memory Tree boxes throughout the community went out a little later this year. Bradbury says, “we really weren't sure if we were going to have any out this year.”
They are in each of the four financial institutions, Virden Footwear, Super Thrifty, and also at Kin Place (seniors’ residence). “We are thankful to those businesses that are open and allowed us to place them in there.”
Donations can also be mailed in through the middle of December (form in this week’s print edition) or at: tinyurl.com/yyxob35c