Thank you to everyone for your support
As the new year progresses and we look back at 2017, we cannot thank the people that have supported us enough.
Pals is a charity that spends more than $3,000 a day on patient care. We receive no government grants and rely solely on corporate and individual donations.
Our most recent event, the Memorial Tree held at the Washington Mall and at Butterfield Bank on Reid Street, was another success thanks to the kind people of Bermuda.
What started as not a fundraiser has grown over the years and raised more than $300,000. The tree started in 1994 owing to the persistence of Joanne Armstrong, a Pals nurse at the time. She had seen a tree three years earlier in Florida and fought hard for the initiative to take off in Bermuda.
It started as a wonderful way for people to remember their loved ones who have died throughout the year or throughout their lifetimes. The 13ft, or sometimes taller, tree has always been very majestic, standing at the bottom of the stairs in Washington Mall and covered in bluebirds and tags with memories, poems or lipstick kisses.
The tree is a very special event for us, which takes a lot of manpower to organise and is done by our volunteer co-ordinator, Lynette Waldron.
The opening ceremony is officiated by the Venerable Andrew Doughty, Archdeacon of Bermuda, and accompanied by the angelic voices of the Mount Saint Agnes Choir.
We could not continue this event without Paul Slaughter or Mark Woods of the Mall, Sheilagh Robertson of Harbourmaster, Tina Smith of Butterfield Bank, or the amazing volunteers who tirelessly sit at the table for the month of December from the opening to the closing of the Mall.
Once the tree is taken down, all tags are individually read by the team — Lynette Waldron, Janice Bell and Joanne Armstrong — and then burnt, with the ashes brought on a boat and tossed in the sea.
Every year this event stirs up lots of feelings for many people, and yet it is a special bonding moment for the ladies. Thank you to everyone who has made this event a continuing success.
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