Re­mem­brance tree ready for do­na­tions

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Christ­mas is a time when the loss of loved ones can be keenly felt.

Aro­hanui Hospice in part­ner­ship with Farm­ers in Palmer­ston North and Levin, have launched the an­nual Tree of Re­mem­brance to ac­knowl­edge those spe­cial peo­ple.

Aro­hanui’s Emma An­der­son said un­til Christ­mas Eve, Farm­ers’ cus­tomers will be of­fered a re­mem­brance card in ex­change for a do­na­tion so they can write a mes­sage and have it hung on the tree. The hospice fundrais­ing cam­paign was of­fi­cially launched in store last Thurs­day by Miss Manawatu Michelle Feld­berg.

An­der­son said two trees, which will be staffed by hospice vol­un­teers, would be ac­ces­si­ble out in front of The Plaza en­trance to Farm­ers from Thurs­day.

Hav­ing vol­un­teers to talk with those writ­ing out the cards is unique to The Plaza store.

‘‘Peo­ple some­times be­come tear­ful, so there is usu­ally a box of tis­sues kept handy,’’ An­der­son said.

Farm­ers’ Car­ing for our Com­mu­ni­ties ini­tia­tive will also see trees erected in the com­pany’s new Home store on Ran­gi­tikei St and at Farm­ers in Levin. There were ad­di­tional com­mu­nity trees in set up in Aro­hanui Hospice shops.

Farm­ers cus­tomers could also add to the Flox Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tion col­lectibles, with a new Christ­mas tree bauble by Kiwi de­signer Hay­ley King made es­pe­cially to ac­com­pany the cam­paign.

Aro­hanui’s Clare Ran­dall said the Tree of Re­mem­brance was a ma­jor fundraiser for the hospice.

‘‘It makes a fan­tas­tic con­tri­bu­tion to­wards meet­ing our now $2.5 mil­lion short­fall to keep pal­lia­tive care freely ac­ces­si­ble for ev­ery­one in our re­gion.

‘‘The first year, the Palmer­ston North tree raised $23,000.

‘‘Last year it in­cluded Farm­ers in Levin, and thanks to the gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity, raised over $32,000. We’re hop­ing we can bring in more this year.

‘‘The im­por­tant thing is that all do­na­tions made in this re­gion, in­clud­ing the sales of the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions, stay in this re­gion and are given di­rectly to Aro­hanui Hospice.’’

The re­mem­brance cards and their mes­sages will be col­lected up and re­dis­played at Aro­hanui dur­ing Jan­uary, be­fore be­ing blessed dur­ing a spe­cial ser­vice at the hospice.

Miss Manawatu Michelle Feld­berg at the launch of the Aro­hanui Hospice Tree of Re­mem­brance at Farm­ers in The Plaza

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