Hospice angel making a long-time tradition
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For the past 20 or so years, volunteers have gathered like family to work on the making of hospice angels that go all over the united States in memory of (or in honor of) loved ones.
The process starts in May with a committee coming up with a design and the making of several prototypes. The final design is selected based on not only the appearance but also the ease of assembly-line creation in bulk.
"Once the final angel is decided we have to find the materials to be used, Judy Tersteeg explains. "There are many hours spent finding the best deal. Materials are found locally or on the internet."
This year there are 650 angels, which means there have to be 650 of each piece that make up an angel. The pieces are traced, cut, glued together; ribbons and materials are measured to length. Some of the angels of years past were painted, had wings that were pounded, required tin to be cut.
About 60-70 women of ages 40 and up meet two afternoons a week starting the first week of September with a goal of completion by late October. Husbands and friends with special tools have helped with manufacturing parts over the years.
"The fun part of this year's angel was that many thought it was a really easy angel," Judy continues. "Well, that person changed her mind after she started working…."
Judy describes the camaraderie and joyful noise that comes from the conference room where the angels are assembled, saying she loves to hear the stories angel makers share with others at their table. "They bring in recipes, family photo albums, crafts they are working on at home. This is a project of love for everyone."
This year's committee is made up by Judy Tersteeg, Martha Zavodsky, Jean Giroux, Karen Wren and Sylvia Stafford. Peggy Fetchenheir and Pam Reitan, who chaired the committee for many years, are honorary members who are welcomed for their knowledge and experience whenever they can show up.
You can have an angel for a $25 donation. For more information, click through to the website or call 303-674-6400 to place your order.
Photos by Judy Tersteeg