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'Angels' watch over Mt. Evans Hospice

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Annual tradition raises funds, spirits

By Stephanie DeCamp

It may be a bit early to start thinking about those special trees we cherish in December, but it's never the wrong time to remember your loved ones.

Every surface of the meeting room at Mt. Evans Home Health and Hospice is covered by small white angels. Standing about 9 inches tall, the white gossamer ladies hold little bouquets and are enveloped by their tall, white wings. At the back of the room stands a bookcase holding every angel that has been made since the project began in 1993. They are all different: everything from modern to woodcut, hand sewn and doll-like to wild and artistic.
More than 100 volunteers gather every year to design and make the angels from September through November, said Mt. Evans spokeswoman Beth Foster. The volunteers work through Nov. 15 at the center, located at 3081 Bergen Peak Drive, and are always looking for more helpers.
"The Mt. Evans Angel Project serves not only as an important fund-raiser for the agency," Foster said, "but also as a social activity and bereavement support group for the women who gather year after year to create the Angels."
The volunteers are making 600 angels this year, 50 more than in 2012. The angels cost $25 each, so if they reach their goal, the volunteers will have raised $15,000 for the center. They already have 316 completed.
Those purchasing angels can have a loved one's name listed in the Book of Angels, which can be viewed online at www.mtevans.org. An acknowledgment card is also sent to the person being honored. Mailing an angel costs an extra $5.
Five of the volunteers get together every spring to decide on a design and make prototypes, said Heather Boor, volunteer and special event manager.
"Everyone has their favorites," said Foster, "and everyone has one they hate. It's really funny."
"One year," Foster reminisced, "five sisters from around the country came to our office to purchase five angels in memory of their mother, a patient of ours who had passed away the week before. The women had gathered in Evergreen for the memorial service. They were thrilled when they saw that year's Angel — she had curly, red hair, just like their mother."
Angel-making sessions are held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Mondays and from 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays. To volunteer, call 303-674-6400 or e-mail hboor@mtevans.org.