Volunteer Claudia Dunlavy and Honey Lake Hospice Coordinator Andria Cuypers welcome family members to the 20th annual Hospice Tree Lighting ceremony.

Honey Lake Hospice Tree Lighting Ceremony ‘Lights Up A Life’

Cold, rainy weather didn’t deter Honey Lake Hospice’s 20th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 at the United Methodist Church — it just moved the ceremony inside to the church’s Fellowship Hall. The tree, decorated with doves inscribed with the names of loved ones was lit as soon as the ceremony was completed, and some ventured out into the weather to find their loved one’s dove on the tree.

The Honey Lake Hospice Tree, decorated with the names of loved ones, will be lit every evening through the first of the new year.

Founded in 2003 to improve the quality life for the terminally ill, Honey Lake Hospice is operated by volunteers, and provides its services for free. Trained volunteers can help individuals and their families in a variety of ways from running errands to providing bereavement support. November was designated in 1982 as a month-long effort to raise awareness for hospice care. National Hospice and Palliative Care Month commemorates the strength and compassion of the professionals and volunteers who help people live with dignity, comfort and support at end of life.

Volunteer Claudia Dunlavy and Hospice Coordinator Andria Cuypers welcomed the crowd. Cuypers said the organization wouldn’t exist without Dunlay’s vision and dedication.

Debra Sokol sings, “I Will Light A Candle.”

Song sets mood for hospice tree-lighting ceremony
As she has for many years, Debra Sokol performed “I Will Light A Candle,” a 1993 song written by Paul Alexander, prior to the Susanville United Methodist Church Handbell Choir, directed by Dennis Roberts, tolling the bells as the names are read. Sokol’s rendition this year was especially emotional as she recently lost her husband, Donald.

A reception with refreshments concluded the ceremony.