Community Raises Funds to Support Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut Through Tree Lighting Ceremonies


The Zahansky family poses for a photo at the Brooklyn Tree of Life site.

PUTNAM, CONN. – Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut celebrated its 21st annual “Tree of Life” ceremonies on Sunday, December 12, 2010 raising more than $30,000. New towns added to the site list this year included Sterling and Griswold, bringing the total participation to 10 towns throughout Northeast Connecticut. Ceremonies occurred simultaneously in the ten towns and each included the lighting of a holiday tree, a prayer lead by a local prayer leader, reflection, caroling and a post-ceremony reception with refreshments.

“The Tree of Life ceremonies continue to grow in participation throughout the towns,” said Pat Hedenberg, appeal and event manager. “The sheer commitment from the community to the Tree of Life is a testament to how much we all truly support one another. I hope more and more people continue to come together every year to remember and celebrate the lives of our loved ones.”

There were 937 community members that purchased lights for this year’s 10 trees to support the work of Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut. The first Tree of Life ceremony was held in December of 1989 and raised $6,500, beginning with Danielson, Putnam and Plainfield. In the past five years alone, the Tree of Life ceremonies have raised more than $170,000. All proceeds from this event remain local and help to fund alternative therapies, social work, medical supplies not covered by insurance and also to help support the bereavement program. Additional items may be provided to make the patient’s end-of-life care more comfortable.

Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut brings much-needed relief and assistance to families and individuals who are facing the end of a life. It offers pain management, spiritual guidance, support through end-of-life issues, help with complex insurance systems, and the personalized, thoughtful and compassionate care that is so necessary in such a difficult situation.