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VAN WERT - The Van Wert Chapter of the Compassionate Friends will have a special candle lighting program on Monday, Dec. 10 starting with a carry-in meal at 6 p.m. Bring one or two dishes to share. Table service and beverages will be provided.

At 7 p.m. we begin our candle lighting. This is a special time for you to light a candle in memory of your child. We will provide candles for you to use or you may bring a special candle of your own. You will also receive an angel ornament to take home as a remembrance.

Christmas and the holidays are often some of the most difficult times for bereaved parents. We feel so different, lonely, and often lose hope for the future.

Kay Bevington will be our speaker for the holiday program. Kay is not only a bereaved mother but has endured many trials in her life. Rhonda died in 1980, their home and neighborhood was damaged in the tornado in 2002, and she has just completed one year of cancer surgery and treatments.

Kay's topic will be Finding Hope in our Sorrow. She will share some of their and other people's means of coping and finding hope during the trials of our lives. Rodney and Kay assisted Roy and Eleanor Souders to begin our local Van Wert TCF chapter in 1981. They founded and still operate an international non-profit support organization for bereaved parents with no surviving children, Alive Alone, which they started in 1990.

Kay has been a keynote speaker and seminar presenter at regional, national and international bereavement organizations since 1988. She is the author of many published articles, pamphlets, and two books.

Please RSVP to Doris Heindel at (419) 733-7222 or Nancy Finkhousen at (419) 238-0639 so we can make adequate preparations. If you are unable to make it at 6 you may join us at 7 for the program.

Both the carry~in and candle lighting are open to your extended family. If you are unable to be at the meeting, please call Doris or Nancy so we can light a candle in memory of your child.

The Van Wert Chapter publishes a newsletter four times a year for bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings.

The chapter reaches out to the Van Wert and surrounding counties. Contact either of the above numbers for more information.