ASHTON — Hannan Junior/Senior High School (HJ/SHS) held an inaugural memorial tree lighting Friday night.
The tree, located at the school, will be available for spectators all season.
“It is lit all season,” Principal Tammy Burns stated via email. “They actually planted it in the yard.”
The memorial tree welcomes community members add their own personalized ornament to the tree in remembrance of a loved one.
“In recent years, our community has been impacted by the loss of many wonderful people. Recognizing that grief can be particularly difficult during the holidays, the event hopes to provide a way for community members to honor their loved ones,” a flyer promoting the event and tree, stated.
Angela Holley, HJ/SHS community leader and HATS coordinator, organized the event.
“The memorial tree was an idea that grew out of the immense loss of community members during the last two years,” Holley said.
Holley said she would not be who she is without the community and it was a way to give back.
“I grew up in the community and there has always been a sense of taking care of one another,” Holley said. “I owe a great deal to the people of our community, who have looked out for me and my family. Planting the tree, decorating it and lighting it for the community is just a small way to try to brighten their spirits during a time when we have experience so much grief.”
Those who wish to add an ornament to the memorial tree may bring one and place it on the tree outside of school hours, Burns said.
Ornaments to place on the tree can also be obtained by contacting Holley at 304-743-1757
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.