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Calumet Park Funeral Chapel and Rendina Funeral Home Angel Tree Lighting Ceremonies well attended…

2015-10-09-08-07-29The Merrillville High School Choir greeted the attendees of Calumet Park Funeral Chapel’s annual Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday afternoon, December 3.  Over 150 men, women and children enjoyed the choir singing Christmas carols as they found their way to their seats in the chapel.

 

 

Harpist Renee Wilson treated the audience with soft holiday music while waiting for the program to begin.

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A special thanks to Michelle Hanrahan and all those who helped make the evening a success.  Assisting as needed were Kim Jones, Carrie Evans, Teresa Dille, Matt Hahn, Misti Ferkull, Sandy Ferris, Marcia Ochoa, Rick Kalk, Richard Stake, Dianne Correll, Kathy Chepela and Tammy Vogel.  Paul Vogel offered some thoughts and stories to remind us all of the reason for the season, while his brother Brant sang a song inspired by his grandfather and days fishing.  Matt and Sara Courtney and Caroline Moore shared a heavenly song and all enjoyed fellowship after the door prizes were awarded over delicious punch and an assortment of sweets.  And, for the first time, pictures of loved ones were projected on the wall as names and dates were read as loved ones placed glass angels on the tree.

Rendina’s ceremony was on Thursday afternoon organized by Taylor Wise, with Greg Schafer and many of the people mentioned above all helping out. (click on pictures to enlarge)  2015-10-07-08-22-48 2015-10-07-08-25-43 2015-10-07-08-26-30 2015-10-07-08-27-32 2015-10-07-08-43-06 2015-10-07-08-43-46 2015-10-07-08-44-59 2015-10-07-08-48-20 2015-10-07-09-02-22 2015-10-07-09-13-52

 

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The Calumet Park and Rendina Angel Tree Lighting ceremonies are just around the corner….

Orn_Angel_LARGECall now to make sure you are included in the annual angel tree lighting ceremony at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel and Rendina Funeral Home.  Calumet Park’s will be held on December 3 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. and Rendina’s will be on December 1st from 3:00 – 5:00.  We recommend that you come early to make sure your angel will be ready for you.  Please call in now to ensure that you will have your complimentary angel.  Call Calumet Park at 219-736-5840 and Rendina at 219-980-1141 for details and driving directions.  See you there and Merry Christmas to all.

 

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11th Annual Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel enjoyed by all…

Michelle Hanrahan, Funeral Home Manager, reading the names of those to be remembered.

Michelle Hanrahan, Funeral Home Manager, reading the names of those to be remembered.

The Merrillville High School’s “Choral Teens” greeted guests on Saturday afternoon, December 5th, with harmonious renditions of Christmas carols.

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After about 200 family members had taken their seats, Paul Vogel gave a heart-rendering talk on trusting God.

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Brant Vogel shared a song that had more than a few visitors in tears as they remembered their loved ones.

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Michelle Hanrahan read off the names of those who were to have a family member hang an angel on the tree followed by the lighting of the tree and a closing song by Brant.  During the reading of the names, Renee Wilson played sweet, soft background music on her harp.

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Kim Jones, funeral director, served as MC for the night, making introductions and reading a poem that was perfect for the occasion.

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The evening ended with refreshments and good fellowship among the attendees and staff.

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Please visit our funeral home for your consideration when deciding on what funeral home is right for you.

Please visit our funeral home for your consideration when deciding on what funeral home is right for you.

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Thanks to all who organized the 11th annual tree lighting and for all those who came and shared the afternoon with your friends at Calumet Park.  For info on preplanning, go to calumetparkcemetery.com or call 769-8803.

A very merry Christmas to all.

 

 

 

 

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1st Annual Angel Tree lighting ceremony at Rendina Funeral Home…

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The First Annual Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony was held at Rendina Funeral Home on December 3, 2015.  It was a pleasant success as families served by Rendina gathered to remember their lost loved ones.  Not that long ago, Calumet Park Funeral Chapel instituted the event at their chapel which is now attended by over 200 people annually.  Thanks to all that made this first remembrance ceremony a success, especially Michelle Hanrahan, Taylor Wise, Teresa Dille, Carrie Evans and Marsha Ochoa.

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Watch this space next week for pics of the Calumet Park Funeral Chapel’s Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony.  Thanks to all who helped and to all who came to the first annual angel tree ceremony at Rendina Funeral Home.  In the years to come, you will remember the first as a great gathering of like-minded hearts celebrating the lives of loved ones taken too soon.

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Merry Christmas to all…

 

Tree in the Great Room at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel

Tree in the Great Room at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel

We wish you and your loved ones the most blessed and happy holiday.  The connection between you, your family and our staff is more than that of a company serving your needs.  For those who find time to join with us throughout the year at our Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony, our Butterfly Release Program, our Fishing for Memories and our Fall Festival, you discover that we care.  Memorial Weekend and Veterans Day are special times at Calumet Park and Rendina Funeral Home as our entire team suspends the happenings in our personal lives to be there for you during these special times of honoring families, especially those that share a history of serving this great nation.

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In all the hustle and bustle of the season, with shopping and gifts wrapped in beautiful paper and bows, we are proud to be among those who see this holiday for what it really is all about, and that is the birth of Jesus.  Santa has his place, and the economy takes a belly full of profits as it gobbles up cash and credit and spits out dolls and video games…and that is good for business.  But remembering the reason for the season, as trite as the rhyme might sound, is the foundation upon which Calumet Park has built its business over the past 87 years.

Above the entrance to Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville

Above the entrance to Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville

Calumet Park services the entire community, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, color or creed…much as the Savior who was born 2014 years ago.  Jesus came to earth so that we may have life eternal and acceptance is all that is required.  So, on this great birthday of Christ, we thank Him and we thank you, our patron families, for affording us the opportunity to be there for you when you need us.

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Merry Christmas to you, and may 2015 be filled with love and good health, and when you feel a little overwhelmed, or scared, or short on hope, the man from the manger may be your savior.  As a child asks Santa for a special toy, trust the Lord.  Both a toy for a child and peace for you is wrapped in a ribbon of trust just waiting for you to take them as your own.

To have your questions answered regarding cemetery and funeral arrangements, call 219-769-8803 and visit our website at calumetparkcemetery.com

 

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Socks and miracles…

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I remember that it was bitterly cold that morning.   By the time I walked down the steps with my brothers and sisters, the snow was already to my thighs.  The wind blew our breath back into our faces and we felt like we couldn’t go on…almost.  With our heads down, we plodded onward  There were no snow days in Salamanca back in the mid-50’s.

I was only six that winter.  There were five kids in the family and as time would pass, the number would increase to a total of eight Moran kids of various ages and shapes and sizes, but that winter, I was the youngest school age child of Betty and Mike.  Looking back, there is so little of those early years that I remember, but for some reason, putting socks on my hands to ward off the cold has stayed with me.

That’s right!  Socks.  We were very poor back then.   My dad was a housepainter, and who wants their house painted in the dead of winter?   It seemed that Christmas was always lacking in big, fancy toys under the tree.  But we didn’t know, as kids, what being poor or being middle class were; let alone the concept of some people being rich.  I am not even sure if there were such creatures in that small town in upstate New York back then…rich, I mean.   At least, we didn’t know any rich folk.

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Salamanca was a very small town; some would say quaint in today’s terminology.  There was a main street that ran but a few blocks, with a movie house at one end and a ragged train station at the other with a few shops in-between.  How we loved the train station, though, as there was a penny candy glass case there that we would press our noses against on our way home from school.  Once in a while, some grown-up would flip us a nickel and it was as though we won the lottery.   It was an odd little town as it was located on Seneca Indian land that was leased to the townspeople, so people could own their buildings but not the land on which they sat.  But I digress.

Socks.  The memory of that winter’s day may stick with me as it was a day that started out so freakishly cold to the little boy with freckles and big ears.  Imagine seeing a child (children, but this is my Matchstick Story for Christmas) with no hat and uncut hair blowing in the wind.  A threadbare, hand-me-down coat and no boots offered little protection from the nasty weather.   I remember walking backwards as a means of moving forward as it was just too much for me to make any progress walking directly into winter’s onslaught.

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I remember it was hard to make a snowball without a thumb as my tiny hands were completely closed in with my socks-for-mittens ensemble.  As a small cadre of Moran kids plowing forward towards the warmth of our school, we surely made quite a site.  Somehow, and without too many long lasting psychological scars from poverty, we managed to grow up and raise families of our own, but at that time and that place, trying to keep from freezing was our immediate goal.

And one day, the miracle happened.  At least to us it seemed like a miracle.  My mother got a call from the “big store”, the two story department store at the end of Main.  It seemed that a person, who wished to remain anonymous, instructed the store to contact the “socks” family.  The store was to invite the family in, and treat them with absolute respect.  Each child was to choose whatever coat, hat, mittens, boots and scarves that suited their fancy, and he (or she, come to think of it after all these years) would pay for everything.

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You would have thought that the Moran’s succeeded in finding the proverbially bucket of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Real to goodness winter clothes, all for our very own and never having been worn by anyone else.  It had enough of an impact on me that I still think of those “socks-on-the-hands” days of yesteryear, some 59+ years later.  The kindness and generosity of one person for the plight of others was not even part of my ability to understand as such a small boy.  All I knew was that I dared it to snow and blow the rest of that year because little Danny Moran was ready!

Mother and daughter making snow angels

I understand that in this day and age, a time when there is a store to meet every person’s financial profile, from Goodwill to Bloomingdales, that we seldom hear of kids who do not have mittens to shield them from the cold. The key is that we seldom hear of such kids, but let me assure you, they are still out there.  Some of them may live in your neighborhood.  Oh, they act tough and go out without any protection against the cold, trying to act cool.  Sadly, they are just that.  Cool to freezing.

My point?  When you see an angel tree at a church or bank or wherever, pull one of the angels off and get the toy shown, and maybe go a little overboard and wrap up some age-appropriate hats and mitts too.  Or give to the next person who volunteers their time to raise funds for the kids in your city or town.  Most police departments take kids shopping, and need your help financially.  Twenty bucks to you and me may seem like chump change, but you have the power to create a miracle for some big-eared, freckle faced kid who will truly appreciate your act of kindness and generosity.  You can change a life with a simple act of kindness.

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There is a Toys-For-Tots box at Calumet Park Cemetery, Funeral Chapel and Rendina Funeral Home.  Drop off a present and if you can, a couple of pairs of gloves or mittens would not be refused.  If it is not being to presumptuous, new would be nice.  And let me thank that Salamanca savior once more.

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Merry Christmas to all.  And don’t forget the reason for the season…Happy Birthday to the Lord, Jesus.

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Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 6th at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel

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Limited number of seats.  Call 219-736-5840 for reservations and to get your take-home memorial glass angel.

Calumet Park Funeral Chapel will have its 10th Annual Angel Tree Lighting celebration on December 6 from 3-5 in the afternoon.  There is always a full house with standing room only, so if you hope to attend, we need to get you on the list now.  There will be the usual:  Merrillville H.S. choir singing holiday songs, a harp player playing soft background music while the names and dates are read for those being honored with an angel, other entertainment and complimentary refreshments.  Hope to see you there.

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Angel Tree Lighting at Calumet Park a big success…even in the cold…

Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville, Indiana hosted their 9th Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, December 7th.  Over 240 people signed up to attend, each receiving a complimentary glass angel for a lost loved one.  As the names of the departed souls were read by funeral home manager Sherry Williams, the angels were hung on a beautiful tree.  The event was opened with Paul Vogel II speaking on loss and honoring your children.  Kim Jones read a touching poem written by Leslie Vogel which was followed by the singing of Silent Night by Kelly Voliva.  During the reading of the names, Renee Wilson played holiday music on her harp.  As guests arrived, the Merrillville “Choral Teens” sang holiday songs for the enjoyment of all.

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Thanks to all who attended and a special thanks to Sherry, Tammy, Greg, Tammy (different one), Matt, Misti, Marsha, Marilyn, Richard, Tim, Tom, Sandy, Kathy, Kim, Paul, and Eva for all of their hard work in organizing and conducting this wonderful event.  See you there next year and hope you and yours have a happy and healthy holiday season.

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Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony a Big Success At Calumet Park Funeral Chapel

December 3, 2011 found over 200 area residents coming together for an Angel Tree Lighting ceremony at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, Indiana.  Attendees were given a glass angel to either hang on the Calumet Park tree for the holidays or to take home with them at the end of the ceremony.  The event opened with Sherry Williams, funeral home manager, welcoming families and friends of deceased loved ones to this special occasion.  Saturday’s gathering was the seventh annual tree lighting which is becoming one of the most touching and popular events sponsored by Calumet Park.

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Joe Klapak sang two beautifully haunting songs, Mary Did You Know and Angel Feather (lyrics by Daniel Moran), and Paul Vogel II presented a stirring message of hope.  The names of those individuals who have passed away were then read aloud as family members (or a friend) placed their angel on the tree in the memory of their lost loved one.  Live harp music played softly as the emotional procession made its way to the tree.  The evening concluded with refreshments for all and a chance to share their personal stories with others who could truly understand the pain of loss.

Take some time to read some of our other posts as there are close to 100 articles that may answer some of your questions regarding the subject of funerals, cremation etc. or go to calumetparkcemetery.com for more info.

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