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Lights of Love ceremony

Pastor Bob Koepp, American Lutheran Communities Menomonie residents and families sing a Christmas hymn during the "Lights of Love" ceremony Thursday.

A Menomonie assisted living home is helping its residents honor their lost loved ones at Christmastime.

American Lutheran Communities in Menomonie gathered residents and their families Thursday at its annual Lights of Love ceremony to commemorate loved ones and to raise money for a shared outdoor area for residents.

On Thursday night in Menomonie, residents heard Bible readings, sang Christmas hymns and watched outdoor Christmas trees being lit.

The annual Lights of Love ceremony has been held for at least 18 years through the facility’s 52-year history, said director of activities Deb Haugrose.

Family donations will go toward building a communal patio for the facility, Haugrose said.

“We have one, but when it’s nice out, there’s so many people who want to be out there, there’s not enough room,” she said.

Administrator Betsy Henck said remembering lost family members is intertwined with celebrating Christmas.

“We really think about our loved ones at this time of year, because during the holiday time, that’s when we create all those memories,” Henck said. “It’s thinking back and reliving those moments around the Christmas tree or with your families sharing a meal.”

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