BALLSTON SPA — This holiday season, Ballston Spa businesses are working together to help support the Gateway House of Peace, a local hospice organization, by arranging a memorial tree fundraiser downtown.
With each donation of $10 or more, a memorial dove will be placed on the tree, each one representing a piece of the town’s greater support for Gateway House, which is both financial and also helps to build awareness of the local hospice’s mission.
Established in 2006, Gateway House started to take shape earlier this spring when volunteers began renovating the former American Red Cross building in Milton to eventually become a full-time, supportive hospice community.
Through fundraising efforts like “Raise the Roof,” Gateway House was able to exceed its goal of installing a new roof by November as well as re-insulating the building, fixing the exterior and installing new doors.
The next step in the process is another round of fundraising to take place during the winter months, which ideally will cover the remaining costs of renovating the home so Gateway House can open its doors and start serving patients of hospice, their families and loved ones.
Several Ballston Spa business owners including the owners of Whoopies are Good, Decadent Diva Chocolate Shop and Mary’s Beauty Salon have pioneered the organization of the memorial tree for hospice fundraising campaign.
The tree, which was decorated and lit for the Ballston Spa Holiday Parade, which took place on Friday, Dec. 2, is located on the deck outside Decadent Diva at 241 Milton Ave. in the heart of Ballston Spa.
Paul Brisson, co-owner of Whoopies are Good and active volunteer and member of the Gateway House board of directors said the community has been showing outstanding support for the tree and the entire charitable project.
“The tree is here to demonstrate our community’s support for Gateway’s vision, as a 100% volunteer, donor driven, community-owned residence for patients of hospice,” Brisson said in a recent statement.
“It is our goal to have hundreds of doves on this tree and others if necessary.”
Both Sunnyside Gardens and Bob’s Trees helped support the memorial tree project and agreed to donate an additional tree by the end of the season. Memorial doves are available at the Decadent Diva Chocolate Shop, which will be placed on the tree in exchange for a minimum $10 donation made in memory of a family member or loved one. All proceeds of the tree will go toward the final renovations of Gateway House so it can open in 2012.
Doves can also be purchased online at www.whoopiesaregood.com. Donations may be mailed directly to the shop at this address:
c/o Hospice Memorial Tree
241 Milton Avenue
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
For more information about the Gateway House of Peace visit www.gatewayhouseofpeace.org.