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It isn't too late to support Hospice Wellington’s Tree of Remembrance

A meaningful way to honour a loved one over the holidays

The holidays can be difficult for some and can remind us of our grief. Finding meaningful ways to remember and honour our loved ones can be helpful.

Hospice Wellington’s Tree of Remembrance is a long-standing holiday campaign that holds a special place in the hearts of many. It began 18 years ago as a way for the community to connect with Hospice volunteers and staff, show their support and honour loved ones that they have lost. Getting an ornament and hanging it on the tree has become a cherished tradition for many families and individuals.

Visit the tree at Stone Road Mall, where you’ll find Hospice Wellington’s booth. There are some lovely opportunities to donate, receive an ornament and fill in a memorial tag to hang on the tree.

You can also purchase ornaments on their website. The campaign runs until Dec. 23.

Members of the community love the Tree of Remembrance. “It is a very important community outreach tool,” says Tracey Schlosser, Marketing & Fund Development Team Lead with Hospice Wellington. “People who experience grief at the holidays and want to honour a loved one, who have had a connection to Hospice Wellington or who have heard about us come to visit to get an ornament, share their stories and memorialize their loved one with a memory tag to hang on the tree.”


Hospice Wellington operates a 10-bed residence that serves approximately 250 people each year. They also help over 1,300 clients through their community services, which include grief and bereavement support, palliative care, caregiver support, art therapy groups and workshops, integrated wellness and complementary therapies. The organization also has a strong and dedicated volunteer base of just under 200 people.

How you can help

Sharing Hospice Wellington’s posts online and spreading the word among your friends, family and co-workers is helpful, says Schlosser.

Several generous people have also hosted satellite tree spots in nearby rural communities, including Laurie Hart Rogers at the Royal Canadian Legion in Elora, Julie Martin-Jansen at Young’s Home Hardware in Mount Forest, Harvey and Cindy Kozinets at Sussman’s of Arthur, and Enid Acton and Irene Walback at the Royal Canadian Legion in Erin.

“We have an amazing sponsor who helps us purchase the ornaments, Andra Arnold, who has been a yearly sponsor,” she says. “We’re grateful to Prime Care Pharmacy for being a sponsor and to Guelph Today for being our Media Partner.”

The COVID-19 pandemic did affect the Tree of Remembrance event last year, but there was strong participation online and the hospice was able to meet its fundraising goal. This year there has been less online engagement but a marked increase in in-person support has been noted.


“It is quite evident this year that people wanted to be connected in a personal way and to be physically present at the mall to buy an ornament, hang a tag on the tree and see hospice staff and volunteers. In-person has been very vibrant,” says Schlosser.

The holidays can stir up a mix of emotions and it’s important to acknowledge and validate them all.

“People come back year after year to visit the tree. Some collect ornaments yearly. Others just happen upon us at the mall, appreciate why we are there and are touched to be able to participate.”

Learn more about Hospice Wellington, its annual Tree of Remembrance campaign and discover other ways to show your support.