PORTSMOUTH — Local entertainment will be highlighted at the Fourth Annual (2021) Greenlawn Christmas Remembrance Service scheduled for Sunday, December 5, from 2-4 p.m. at Greenlawn Cemetery.
Sponsored by the Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery Foundation, the annual event provides fellowship to families and offers families the opportunity to remember someone by placing a personalized angel ornament on the Christmas Remembrance Tree.
“I know it seems kind of unusual to have firepits and hot chocolate at a cemetery,” FOGCF representative Debbie Gambill said. “but this annual event provides the community a chance to honor a loved one who has passed. Across the country, during the month of December, families will gather to decorate the gravesites of their loved ones. This is a difficult time for many, so we wanted to offer the opportunity to be with your friends and neighbors, light a votive candle, and place an angel ornament on the Remembrance Tree. “
FOGCF board member Melissa Appleton explained the annual event is completely free to the public, “It is not required that your family member or friend be buried at Greenlawn. You can place an ornament on the Remembrance Tree for anyone buried at any cemetery.”
“Due to the pandemic, we were unable to have the two-hour event last year. However, we did erect a tree and we provided ornaments for the public to personalize. By the end of the Christmas season, there were nearly 200 personalized angels on the tree,” Jennifer Schackart, FOGCF, said.
“This year’s Remembrance Tree was donated by local businessman Kenny Boldman of Lucasville,” founding FOGCF Board Member Mary Arnzen said. “The large white pine is located near the Offnere Street main entrance to Greenlawn. “We are so very grateful to Mr. Boldman, who generously provided the tree for this annual event. The tree will be filled with lights and the personalized ornaments throughout the entire season.”
The Christmas Remembrance event also offers live local entertainment. Some of the performers scheduled for the upcoming event include the musical students of Amy Hood Howard, the Portsmouth West High School Choir under the direction of FOGCF Board Member Linda Tieman, Tehya Hazelbaker (Harpist with the OMEA SC Regional Orchestra) and many others. The entertainment schedule will be posted on the Friends of Greenlawn Facebook page.
Refreshments will be provided in addition to a special ornament for attendees to take home for their personal Christmas trees.
“We will be taking safety precautions to make sure everyone has as safe experience as possible,” FOGCF Board Member Diane Applegate said. “The event is free to the entire community and the Friends of Greenlawn consider it such an honor to provide the ornaments and perhaps more importantly, the fellowship of friends and neighbors during this season.”
The Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery Foundation is a 501c3 Non-Profit corporation with one hundred percent of all donations used for the restoration and preservation of Greenlawn Cemetery.