Memorial Tree Grove Ceremony honors loved ones for 20th year

BEAR Project Memorial Tree Grove board member LaDonna Howard sings “How Great Thou Art” during this year’s remembrance ceremony, held Saturday, Sept. 12, in Evanston. (HERALD PHOTO/Sheila McGuire)

EVANSTON — The 20th annual Memorial Tree Grove Recognition Ceremony was held on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 12. This year’s ceremony, as has been the case every year, was to “honor those we have loved and whose names are on the stones,” according to Memorial Tree Grove board member Pat Arnold.

The Grove was established in 2000 to recognize and memorialize those who loved the outdoors and called Evanston home. Now, 20 years later, there are more than 200 names on the stones nestled among the trees near the Bear Pond Pavilion. Arnold said the group anticipates adding more stones further back in the tree grove as names continue to be added.

Following Arnold’s introductory comments, Union Presbyterian Pastor Sarah Shields gave a memorial prayer and board member LaDonna Howard sang a musical selection, “How Great Thou Art.”

Board President Alex Moscinski then read the names added to the stones this year while family members and friends stepped forward to place sunflowers on the stones. Board member Marilee Jackson then concluded the ceremony with a memorial reading, after which family and friends shared embraces and memories. Sunflowers and refreshments were provided by the BEAR Project.

Names added to the stones this year included Listy Henrikson, Christy Passey, Skylar Kauffman, Lori Dawn Henderson, Arlene Samuelson, Beulah Marshall Bowers, Lester Lamar Taylor, Kenneth E. Woodward and Travis Ryan Vetos.

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