Roaring Fork Hospice promotes National Hospice Month |

Roaring Fork Hospice promotes National Hospice Month

November is National Hospice Month, and Roaring Fork Hospice wants communities from Aspen to Parachute, Gypsum and Marble to know its role in the valley.

The hospice staffs a team of qualified professionals whose mission is to provide quality end-of-life care to patients and families facing terminal illness.

“Hospice care is about caring, courage, comfort and love,” said Sean Jeung, Roaring Fork Hospice volunteer coordinator. “It’s about strength, forgiveness and hope.”

In November and December, Roaring Fork Hospice will host its 17th annual Loving Tree celebration. The non-profit organization’s annual fundraising event began in Aspen when Maryellen Secrist lost her husband, Don, to cancer. Through her experience with Don’s death, Maryellen was instrumental in forming the original hospice group in the Aspen area, which is now Roaring Fork Hospice, headquartered in Glenwood Springs.

The Loving Tree ceremony allows the community to honor and celebrate those who have died as well as those who live on, said Jeung.

“It’s a beautiful, heart-warming evening of music, refreshments and the lighting of the tree. You can come alone or you can bring the whole family,” she said.

“Participants can purchase an ornament to hang on the tree or simply come to watch. The important thing is to come. It’s a powerful and supportive way to ease into the season while maintaining the spirit.”

In honor of 17 years of supporting hospice care, the Loving Tree event has grown from one night in Aspen to three nights across the valley.

“This year we are especially pleased to have Father Thomas Keating speaking at The Little Nell on Nov. 29 and Bill Kight at the Hotel Colorado on Nov. 30,” Jeung said. “We encourage anyone who is interested in, involved with or who has been touched by hospice to attend.”

For those with loved ones near death, or to learn more about hospice’s role in the community, call Roaring Fork Hospice’s Glenwood office at 384-7530. Information is also available on issues such as advanced directives, grief and bereavement.

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