The campaign to raise funds to build the Angel of Hope Garden in Washington is in full swing.
The garden is designed to be a quiet place where parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends can go to reflect, mourn and remember children who have died. The garden is for people throughout the region.
It will be located in a secluded spot, surrounded by trees, along the walking trail south of Lions Lake and near where the new all-abilities park is being developed. Preliminary earthwork has started on the garden site.
Organizers of the fundraising campaign have started soliciting donations. It’s estimated that the total cost will be between $40,000 and $45,000.
The Washington City Council in July advanced the group $25,000 because it takes about three months to make and ship the bronze angel that will be the garden’s centerpiece. Also, a granite pedestal on which the angel will be placed had to be ordered in advance.
The advance funds will be reimbursed to the city after donations are received.
The memorial garden will be financed entirely by private donations and will not be affiliated with any specific religion. It will be devoted as a monument to honor the memory of children who have died.
How to Donate
Individuals, families and businesses can make a tax deductible donation by making out checks payable to C.O.W. — Angel of Hope.
Donors need to include their name, complete address, phone number and the amount of the gift.
Donations should be sent to: City of Washington Angel of Hope Memorial Garden, 405 Jefferson St., Washington, MO 63090.
In addition to accepting donations by mail, advocates of the garden have two upcoming fundraising events.
Both will be held in early October.
Absent Angel Ball
Garden committee members and other volunteers have started sending out invitations for an Absent Angel Ball. No actual ball will be held, but people can donate $50, $100, $200 or $250 and their name will be placed in a drawing for several prizes.
The drawing will be held on Friday, Oct. 5. Replies with donations need to be returned by Friday, Sept. 28.
For information or to request an invitation, contact Robin at 636-231-4081.
A group of volunteers is planning to hold a barbecue fundraiser Saturday, Oct. 6, to benefit the memorial garden.
The barbecue will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. in the swine pavilion at the Washington Fairgrounds. The cost will be $30 for persons 21 and older and $15 for ages 6 to 20. There is no charge for children under 6.
The event will feature barbecue pork burgers, brats, hot dogs, chips and baked beans. Beer and soda will be included.
There also will be a silent auction, entertainment and other events.
That night, the garden committee will kick off the sale of bricks that will be used as pavers at the memorial garden. People will be able to purchase bricks which will be inscribed with their child’s name or an inspirational message.
The committee will continue to sell bricks after the garden is completed. Plain bricks will be replaced with inscribed bricks as they are purchased.
More information about the barbecue event will be provided later.
Currently there are over 100 Angel of Hope Gardens around the United States. Currently, the only gardens in Missouri are located in St. Charles and Troy. Another is being planned in Palmyra.
The bronze angel statue in the park will be an exact replica of the original Angel of Hope statue at Salt Lake City, Utah, which was inspired by the book, “The Christmas Box.”
Proponents hope to see the park here completed in time for an annual candlelight vigil that is held Dec. 6 each year in communities with Angel of Hope gardens.
The first Angel of Hope Garden in Salt Lake City was dedicated Dec. 6, 1994.
Members of the garden committee are Betty Werner, Robin Peirick, Steve Sullentrup, Brian Boehmer and Ed Pruneau.