At Trinity Regional Medical Center, Angels of Love are both a fundraiser and a tribute.
For 12 years, the hospital Auxiliary has been selling angel ornaments in memory or honor of a loved one. For each angel sold, the name of a loved one is placed on a prominent bulletin board in the lobby next to the gift shop, said Kathy Moe, director of volunteer services.
This year's angel is made of cast glass with gold and burnt orange coloring. She holds a heart and has "Love" embossed on her gown. Angels are $10, although people sometimes donate more, Moe said.
-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
The 2012 Angel of Love is on sale now for $10 by the Trinity Regional Medical Center Auxiliary. Buyers can put the name of a loved one on a bulletin board outside the gift shop.
"Some give a donation and don't want the angel. They just want a name on the board," she said.
""People will make a special trip out here. It's really heartwarming. You see people standing there and it will kind of bring a tear to your eye because people are looking for someone they love.
"It's really something that I feel good about because I feel like we're allowing people to honor those they love in an affordable and an important way. And a public way as well," she said.
The angels have become quite popular, said Jill Vandagriff and Pat Hill. Hill is vice president of the hospital Auxiliary board, while Vandagriff is co-chair of the Auxiliary Ways and Means Committee.
Hill said 799 angels were sold last year, raising more than $9,000.
There are 1,000 glass angels available this year, Vandagriff said.
"We hope to be sold out by the end of November," Moe said.
The money will go to the new Cancer Center.
One of the key functions of the TRMC Auxiliary is to raise funds for the hospital. In 2011, the Auxiliary gave nearly $4,000 for equipment purchases and $21,000 for Lifeline equipment, which helps people stay in their homes longer, in addition to money raised for the Cancer Center.
"We have a commitment of $600,000 the Auxiliary has made to the Cancer Center," Vandagriff said.
"To date we have given $350,000," Moe added.
The auxiliary holds other fundraisers throughout the year.
"We're going to have a jewelry sale Oct. 29," said Vandagriff. "Every item is $5. It will be here at the hospital, conference room 3."
There will also be a plant sale in the spring, Hill said.
The angels come from a market in Atlanta, where Moe and gift shop manager Nancy Faiferlick carefully select them.
"We literally search high and low, every nook and cranny, every haystack needle, and try to find an angel that is different, that is beautiful, and that is very cost-effective, that is affordable," Moe said.
They try to have a different design each year.
"Sometimes they're similar, but I think every angel has been different," Moe said. "You kind of get this wink in your heart when you see the right angel."