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Group to decorate memory tree in Jim Thorpe

Published December 07. 2019 08:05AM

The holiday season is a time of joy, but for many it can also foster feelings of depression, specifically for those who are mourning the loss of a friend or loved one.

As they have for the past several years, a group of Jim Thorpe residents will gather Sunday at 3 p.m. at Sam Miller Field on North Avenue to decorate a memory tree dedicated to those no longer with us.

Lori LaRizzio said the idea surfaced after seeing other towns such as Lehighton and Palmerton take on similar endeavors where families or organizations could decorate trees dedicated to loved ones or a certain cause.

“We didn’t have anything like that in Jim Thorpe and the holidays can be a tough time for people so this was a way they could come out and do something out of remembrance for someone who has passed away that they are missing,” LaRizzio said.

Anyone interested is invited to participate in hanging ornaments as the group will meet Sunday at 3 p.m.

The tree hits home for LaRizzio as she and her husband Teddy tragically lost their 22-year-old son Adam nearly 10 years ago.

“We miss him, just as many people miss their loved ones and those feelings really tend to surface even more around the holidays, so this is a way we can bring awareness to their life and show how much they are still loved,” she said. “So many people have expressed that they love doing this so we’ll keep it going as long as we can.”

Community support has been key to keeping the event going, and LaRizzio specifically credited the hard work of the Neighbors on the Hill group.

“That group along with the folks at Sam Miller Field do so much,” LaRizzio said. “They make sure every child who attends has a gift. It’s a really nice time.”

Neighbors on the Hill will sing Christmas carols in the neighborhood to the sick and shut-ins following the tree lighting.

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