Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care hosts 37th annual Tree of Life ceremony


The holidays give many people the opportunity to spend time with family, but for those who have recently lost loved ones, it can be the most difficult time of the year. On Saturday, Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care hosted its 37th annual Tree of Life tree lighting ceremony. This free event has been a long-standing tradition in the community, and it serves as a way to remember those who have passed and also comfort those who have recently lost someone.

Member in the audience holds a candle during the ceremony to honor loved ones who have passed.

“When people can come together and hear all of the names read of these beautiful people who have passed… it makes them realize that they are not alone,” said Dawn Darvalics, President of Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care.

The ceremony is best known for a large portion of it devoted to the reading of the names of loved ones who were submitted by members in the community. Also, several local musicians were brought in for the evening to add to the atmosphere.

Pikes Peak Highlanders play bagpipes and drums before the reading of names begins.

In light of the all the other trees being displayed, there was one that stood out from the rest. It was decorated in red, white and blue which paid tribute to veterans and first responders.

“We just want to honor the people who have sacrificed their life to protect us and really help the families who are grieving their loss and cherish their memory,” said Darvalics.

Last year, the event was hosted online due to COVID, and the year before the event was inundated by an ice storm, so both attendees and volunteers said they were excited they could hold the ceremony in person and have a nice day for it as well.

One of the lit trees on the west side of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. Each light represents a loved one who has passed.

“We were definitely ready to have an in-person event for sure. It was a big challenge for everyone last year. And the weather cooperated wonderfully today as well so everyone was just really rearing to go and honor their loved ones,” said Eric Scott, a member of the Board of Trustees for Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative.

The lights will be up all holiday season in case you missed the ceremony. Also, you can donate online here.

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