Hospice of Hilo ushered in the holiday season by lighting the Trees of Remembrance at its 23rd annual Light Up a Life.
“Anyone may hang a commemorative ornament bearing the name of a loved one on the tree. The ornaments are symbolic connections with loved ones, providing a meaningful way to pay tribute to those we remember and love,” said Hospice spokeswoman An Umamoto.
This year, Hospice of Hilo asked the Julian Family of Pahoa to do the honor of placing the first ornament of the season on the tree in memory of Laureto Julian, who received hospice services.
“I’m so glad to be the first family this year to be honored in this way,” said his wife, Jane.
Hospice of Hilo Spiritual Counselor Phillip Jones led the family in a small ceremony commemorating Laureto Julian. Julian emigrated from the Philippines in 1967 and with hard work and dedication to his family and employees was able to build a successful papaya farming business.
“It feels really good because it shows just how awesome he was, not just to us,” said daughter Jessica Julian.
Light Up a Life is a community event raising funds for Hospice of Hilo’s programs. There is a suggested $10 donation for hanging an ornament, however, no one will be denied the opportunity to honor a loved one.
Trees of Remembrance will be up at the two entrances of Macy’s at the Prince Kuhio Mall through Dec. 24 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.