Kirsten Mustain

Grove Sun

Despite chilly weather and cold drizzle, more than 25 area residents joined with citizens all over the United States and Canada, and turned out for the sixth annual Angel of Hope candlelight ceremony at Lendonwood Garden.

Bundled in heavy coats, mufflers and mittens, their faces lit by the warm flicker of candle flames, participants placed white flowers at the base of the Angel of Hope statue in remembrance of lost loved ones after a heart-touching ceremony led by Lendonwood Board of Directors President Jim Corbridge.

Patti Beth Anderson sang a special song, and prayers were led by Reverend Gary Bishop and Father Howard Wilson.

Mardee Dodge, secretary of the Lendonwood Board of Directors presented the history of the Angel of Hope, which was placed at the garden in 2004 as part of a national movement to remember lost loved ones, particularly children.

Afterwards, cookies and hot chocolate were served by Lendonwood volunteers.

Up to the present time, 100 Angel of Hope statues have been erected across the United States and in Canada.

The movement was inspired by the 1993 bestselling novel, “The Christmas Box,” which was written by Richard Paul Evans.

Memorial bricks inscribed with personalized messages have been placed around the base of the angel statue and are available for placement year round. They may be ordered for $100 each by contacting Ed Hamilto at the First National Bank in Grove, 918-787-8840.