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Attendees will have the ability to remember their lost loved ones this holiday season at the third annual Memories of Hope Experience.

One local non-profit is providing families with an avenue to remember their loved ones this Christmas.

Light of Hope is hosting the third annual Memories of Hope Experience at Claremore Lake.

“The focus out here is to remember our loved ones,” Light of Hope Founder Layla Freeman said.

Attendees will be able to create an a luminary bag – a paper bag that attendees can write a note to their loved one one, fill with sand and place a tea light inside – to place on the pathway. They can choose a colorful Christmas light to place on the Transformation Tree or make a phone call on the Star Phone – which serves as an outlet for those who want to share a message with their lost loved ones.

“Our core goal is to give people a place to come and physically engage in that thought process, that grieving process, especially through the holidays,” Freeman said.

These activities will be available from 5:30-7:30 p.m. every Saturday until Dec. 17 by the Claremore Lake Rangers Station.

Freeman said the idea stemmed from her Mothers Angels Group – a group for mothers who’ve lost loved ones.

Freeman lost her daughter on Christmas Eve in 2013.

“It's an extremely hard time of year for me,” she said. “This season is really tough. So, what can we do to help people come grieve in a positive way?”

Light of Hope Executive Director Nancy Phelps said in 2020 they felt the need to help give people and families a purpose to do something together.

“How a simple thing of just writing a little message on a luminary bag, or switching out that light bulb and just changing it – the reflection of that is just beautiful,” Phelps said.

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