More than 25 community members ventured out in blustery conditions to attend the “Light Up a Life” event at Celilo Chapel in downtown The Dalles the evening of Dec. 11.

Organizers from Providence Hospice of the Gorge and Anderson’s Tribute Center/Celilo Chapel have been running “Light Up a Life” for nine years to give those grieving loss a place to be together during the sometimes-difficult holiday time. Pastor Tim Willis spoke during the event, along with Pam Hughes, a Chaplain with Providence Hospice of the Gorge, and holiday music was provided by Harmony in the Gorge.

Families who couldn’t attend mailed in memorials before the service for their loved ones to be remembered, and those in attendance had the chance to write a name on a heart ornament, either to place on the tree or to take home as a keepsake. At one point, five family members approached the tree and placed their namesake ornament together.

At the end of the evening, the group was invited to sing “Silent Night.” Upon leaving the event, one attendee reported feeling a close connection with others in the room, saying “everyone here has experienced what I have and I feel less alone.”

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