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Youth for Christ Bowl-a-Thon |
Community and Charity Involvement
Service provides solace during holidays
By MELANIE D. HAYES
Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Indiana
ALEXANDRIA - Some were there to grieve for loved ones who recently passed. For others, it was an annual service where they remembered those who have been gone for several years. But for all, it was a way to honor special people while learning to cope with the loss of a loved one during the holidays.
The Service of Remembrance organized by the Owens Memorial Services of Alexandria and Summitville was held at the Emery Lee Auditorium in Alexandria's Beulah Park Sunday afternoon.
The service was started 13 years ago. On Sunday, they honored around 160 people, most of whom gone within the last year.
"We recognize their hurt in the season as well as pay tribute to those who died," said Connie Owens, co-owner of the funeral home. "We give them hope and coping skills for the holidays."
Deb Dickerson attended the service for the first time to remember her father, Ray, who died in 1992, and her mother, Vivian, who died in 2000.
Dickerson felt it was easier to share her grief at the service since others are dealing with similar feelings.
"Their hearts are more tender. It's nice also to see people here because it's nice to see who to keep in prayer," she said. "I will definitely be here again next year.
"It was just wonderful, definitely a blessing."
Dickerson said she learned at the service that it is OK to have those tough moments.
"I always keep them in my heart," she said. "And I have something very special. Every time I see my daughter - she has the same color of eyes as my mother," Dickerson said of her daughter, Jessica. "I see my mother in my daughter all the time. My children give me strength."
Owens gave advice to about 100 people on how to honor and remember loved ones during the holidays, among them, putting a list of memories in stockings, hanging special ornaments on the Christmas tree, and lighting a candle for them.
Dickerson hangs a red heart for her mom and a little drum for her dad on the Christmas tree.
For Naomi Cox, this is the fourth service she attended to honor her husband, William Emmett Cox, who died nearly five years ago.
"It was a very, very good service," she said. "I learn something every time I come to this. It helps me through the difficult times."
"It's a little easier now. At first it was more difficult - I had to go to (Owens) for help. It's difficult during the holidays."
What has helped Naomi Cox throughout the healing process is coming to these remembrance services with others and learning about coping with grief from Owens, a grief counselor.
"When my husband died, it was awful," Cox said. "Here I was dying inside, but nobody knew I was hurting. You have all these people, but you're very much alone."
"(At the service) they know what you're feeling. You know that everyone else is hurting, and it's comforting in a way."
Youth for Christ has ministries in over 200 cities throughout the USA and over 100 countries around the world. Alexandria, Indiana is fortunate enough to have their own full-time Youth for Christ staff member working with high school and middle school students. Travis Kauffman has been working with Campus Life, the high/middle school ministry of Youth for Christ, for 7 years and he has only this year been working as a full-time staff member.
Campus Life seeks to build healthy relationships with students and share with them the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Campus Life believes that through healthy relationships, Christ's message of hope and love can best be shared and cultivated.
Owens Memorial Services has been committed to the vision of Youth for Christ/Campus Life and supporting Travis. His main fundraiser event is an annual Bowl-a-Thon. Owens Memorial Services was asked to sponsor a lane for this event and organize a team of 5 individuals to bowl and raise funds for Travis. Owens Memorial Services is happy to support Youth for Christ all year and at special fundraisers like the Bowl-a-Thon.
Local Organization Benefits from Horseshoe Tournament
Owens Memorial Services has sponsored the Fifth Walt Vetor Memorial Horseshoe Pitching Tournament in conjunction with Alexandria's Small Town USA Festival. The Fifth Annual Walt Vetor Memorial Horseshoe Pitching Tournament was held October 3rd, 2004 at Beulah Park, Alexandria. All tournament registration fees were donated by Owens Memorial Services to local organization Church Street Commons of Alexandria.
Church Street Commons is a community based 501c3 not-for-profit mission that is focused on the youth of Alexandria and the surrounding areas. Church Street Commons' main program in Alexandria is the Tutor/Mentor Program. Tutors assist with homework, encourage, and strive to be positive role models for students. Two of Owens Memorial Services' employees participate in this program at the elementary level and middle school.
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