Dozens of gold and blue Christmas balls twinkle on the trees set up in the Highland Square Mall this season.
Each of these decorations represents someone’s loved one, someone who has passed on. Each year, for more than 20 years, the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society has held a fundraiser for their society by helping those in the community to remember loved ones who have passed.
“People come and put it on in memory of a loved one,” said the society’s Phyllis Hermillon. The fundraiser began many years ago selling screw-in Christmas lights; with each donation’ a bulb would light up the tree.
The money donated from each Christmas ball that hangs on the tree goes toward the society, that helps provide all the little extras for those in the unit — things like ingredients for the volunteers or families to bake with, items for the kitchen. By the end of the season, Hermillon said they usually manage to fill both trees with balls.
“When people come, what I really appreciate is how appreciative they are when they had someone in palliative care,” she said. While selling the balls, Hermillon sees many faces that she has also seen pass through the unit with family or friends over the years.
“A lot of them may have just lost a loved one this year and they are still dealing with that,” said Hermillon.
Phyllis Hermillon of the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society hangs a Christmas ball in memory of someone on the Memory Trees they set up each season. (Brimicombe photo)