Last updated: December 09. 2013 10:45AM - 1248 Views
Catie Roche Contributing columnist

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Southeastern Hospice Festival of Trees, one of Lumberton’s finest traditions, is underway now at the Osterneck Auditorium.

The public is invited to come view the spectacularly decorated trees, shop for handmade gifts and goodies at the Unique Boutique, and enjoy cookies and a hot beverage from Santa’s Café.

The Festival of Trees is open from 1 until 5 p.m. today, and from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for senior citizens and children. Seniors who bring their PrivilegePlus Card and children under 12 enjoy free admission.

I spoke to Sheryl Taylor, the festival coordinator, to learn more about Southeastern Hospice and the Festival of Trees. All proceeds from the festival support Southeastern Hospice, Hospice House, and Camp Care.

Southeastern Hospice, affiliated with Southeastern Health, has been in operation since 1986. It is the only nonprofit in Robeson County providing palliative care for patients at the end of their lives.

Hospice House is an inpatient facility that can accommodate up to 12 patients, with one room dedicated solely to pediatric care. Many people choose hospice for end-of-life care. Hospice care centers are relieving symptoms and providing patients with the best quality of life possible for their time remaining. Patients may turn to Hospice House for symptom management.

Medical staff monitor patients’ condition and help balance medications to produce optimum benefit and reduce negative side effects. Others come to Hospice House for respite care. Patients may stay up to five nights, allowing their regular caregivers the opportunity to have break and attend to their own needs.

Camp Care is a weekend bereavement camp for children aged 8 to 16 and is held at Camp Monroe in Laurel Hill. The focus of the camp is to help children cope with their grief through activities including canoeing, crafts and educational sessions with camp counselors.

Camp Care is open to children from the entire community. School guidance counselors and social workers help to identify children who can benefit from the camp.

The Festival of Trees is made possible by the support of businesses that sponsor the trees on display, members of the community who donate the handmade gifts available for sale at the Unique Boutique, and the Friends of Southeastern Hospice, who volunteer their time and talent to produce the event.

Robeson County Public Library is privileged to support Southeastern Hospice through the use of the Osterneck Auditorium during the Festival of Trees.

Catie Roche is the director of the Robeson County Public Library. You can reach her at croche@robesoncountylibrary.org. Catie is reading “Ladies Night” by Mary Kay Andrews.

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