WOLFEBORO — Preparations are underway for the 24th annual Central New Hampshire VNA and Hospice Tree of Memories, a celebration of life and remembrance, on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 11 a.m.

Locations for this year’s celebration of life ceremony are the lobby of the Medical Arts Building at Huggins Hospital, Wolfeboro; the Wakefield Town Hall; Moulton Farm, Meredith; and the Pearson Road Community/Senior Center, Alton.

Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice provides an opportunity to remember the lives of family, friends and neighbors by placing an inscribed porcelain dove, a symbol of serenity, peace and tranquility, on one of the lighted trees.

Many local clubs and organizations find it to be a wonderful opportunity to honor and remember past members.

The ceremonies involve the lighting of the tree, sharing of music and prayers, words of comfort, reading of names, and placing doves on one of the evergreen trees.

The Hospice Tree of Memories began several years ago after Shirley Richardson and her late husband, Bob, took part in a ceremony to remember Shirley’s parents while visiting Cape Cod during the Christmas season. The ceremony, organized by the local hospice organization, included placing an inscribed seashell on an evergreen tree. Shirley Richardson found it to be such a profound experience that she brought the idea to her local hospice organization in Wolfeboro.

The first local Tree of Memories was established in 1995. A dove was selected as a symbol of serenity, peace, and tranquility. Today, 24 years later, that ceremony continues with inscribed, porcelain doves being hung on a special evergreen tree honoring loved ones. Hundreds of doves are placed on trees each year and remain on the trees throughout the month of December.

Proceeds from the sale of doves are used to improve the quality of life for people living in those lakes’ region communities served by Central VNA, over 500 square miles of area.

For more information, call 603-569-2729 or 1-888-242-0655, or visit www.centralvna.org. The deadline for purchasing a dove is Dec. 3. One need not purchase a dove to participate; everyone is welcome to attend the remembrance celebration at any of the four locations.

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