Delaware Hospice Celebrates Festival of Trees


By Terry Rogers

From December 1 through December 3, the Delaware Hospice Center celebrated their “Festival of Trees.” Events over the weekend also celebrated the 30th anniversary of Delaware Hospice. On Friday, December 1, a Bingo Tournament was held at the Milford center and on Saturday, December 2, Santa arrived at 11:00am.

Throughout the day on Saturday, there were crafts, games, raffles and entertainment. On Saturday evening, the center held “Cheers to 30 Years,” a cocktail party with elegant food, a martini bar, complimentary beer and wine as well as live music. On Sunday, December 3, Sip & Shop allowed visitors to enjoy a drink while shopping with various vendors.

“Delaware Hospice holds two Festival of Trees events, one in Hockessin and one in Milford,” Jennifer Saienni of Delaware Hospice explained. “The three day event hosts beautifully decorated trees and wreaths to view and purchase. There is also a bake shop, Santa visit, vendors, bingo and an evening event. The event raises money for Delaware Hospice and covers costs for our free programs as well as the $200,000 in unreimbursed hospice care.”

In addition to viewing the beautiful trees on display, attendees were able to purchase Remembrance Tree Ornaments. The ornaments, in the shape of a snowflake, peace dove or joyful angel, are personalized and placed on the Remembrance Tree. After the festival, the purchased ornaments can be mailed or picked up at the center in Milford for display in the purchaser’s own home.

One of the trees on display is created by children who write messages to a loved one who was assisted by Delaware Hospice before they passed away. The messages are very touching, a reminder of what each of those people meant to the children who created the ornaments. One ornament, in the shape of a cowboy boot, was dedicated to “Pop-Pop Howard Killen.” The boot included a photo of Mr. Killen and words that brought his memory to mind, including “brother,” “truck driver,” “awesome,” “smile,” and, at the bottom, the word “missed.”

“Mom, she liked to farm, she was born in New Jersey, she liked to knit sweaters or any type of clothes,” another read. Another boot-shaped ornament had the drawing of a man and little girl with the words “Gramp” and the names “Richard and Blair.” Next to that was one reading “Mum-Mum – She walks around in pajamas.”

Although the Festival of Trees ended on Sunday, December 3, the trees will remain on display throughout the holiday season. Ornaments may also still be purchased at the Delaware Hospice Center or online at

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