Remembrance trees for Waipuna Hospice

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Two remembrance trees are waiting to be decorated for those wanting to hang a star for loved ones lost or who would not be home this Christmas - with the act helping to raise money and awareness for a special cause.

For the third year, Waipuna Hospice has teamed up with Farmers Tauranga and Bayfair to place a remembrance tree in each of their stores.

Shoppers could purchase a Christmas bauble then write a short note on an ornamental card, which they could then hang in one of the two trees in the Tauranga stores.

Waipuna Hospice fundraising manager Trish Rea said annually they had to raise $2.6m to keep the organisation running. The two stores raised $28,000 in the lead up to Christmas. This year she hoped to raise $30,000 from the Farmers Tree of Remembrance Appeal.

The baubles cost $10 each and were designed by Hayley King from Flox.

People could also make a donation for a card and write a personal message to someone they had lost or could not be home for Christmas.

The cards would hang on one of the two trees.

After the campaign the personal messages would be blessed in a special ceremony at the annual remembrance service in February and buried under the hospice's own remembrance tree.

"We care for a lot of people but hospice is about celebrating life. These campaigns get the community behind us and remembering someone special at Christmas.

Farmers Tauranga assistant store manager for sales, Rose Sievers, said staff had got behind the campaign with a friendly competition between the Tauranga and Mount Maunganui stores.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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