Hospice Families, Staff Gather for Unveiling Celebration

Nearly 250 people joined members of the Hospice of Queen Anne’s staff and board for the unveiling of the Memorial & Honorary Brick Island and the annual Celebration of Life held at the Hospice Center earlier this month.

The unveiling of the bricks, which display names and personal messages purchased in honor of a special person or in memory of a loved one, marks the completion of the first phase of the project which was launched last November.

Queen Anne’s High School student Kelsi Ronning, who coordinated the project with HQA’s Development Officer Kenda Leager, will earn the prestigious Girls Scouts Gold Award as a result of her efforts with the project.

“We are so grateful and pleased with the community’s response to this new initiative,” said Leager. We sold 159 bricks and raised nearly $22,000,” she added.

Following the unveiling, families and staff gathered in the side garden of the Hospice Center for the annual Celebration of Life service. Sharon Loving, support services supervisor read the names of individuals under hospice care, as well as names of members of the community who had passed away during the previous year.

Solo music was performed by Crystal Zornac from Queen Anne’s County and poems were read by Rhonda Knotts, HQA’s grief services coordinator. The service concluded with the release of four white doves from a beautiful white basket.

“This was such a touching event,” said one family member. “Our family drove down from Pennsylvania to be with my father whose wife passed away last year. It was wonderful to meet the staff members who helped them and counseled me on the telephone from afar,” she added.

Phase two of the Memorial and Honorary Brick project is now underway and continues through January 2013. For additional information or to purchase a brick, visitwww.hospiceofqueenannes.org and click on “Ways to Give;” or contact Kenda Leager at 443-262-4106 or kleager@hospiceofqueenannes.org.

In photo: Posing amid the engraved memorial and honorary bricks, Kenda Leager, HQA development officer presents flowers to Kelsi Ronning for her efforts with HQA’s “Paving the Way for Hope” brick project.