The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation begins its eighth year this week of “Celebrate Our Memories” in partnership with TCMH Hospice of Care.

Beginning Friday, a nine-foot Christmas tree in the front lobby of the hospital will hold Christmas ornaments that can be “gifted” and inscribed with the name or a message in honor or in memory of someone special in their life.

The foundation will divide all funds generated by the program with another TCMH entity — Hospice of Care — so the Christmas program actually benefits two local charitable organizations.

As part of “Celebrate Our Memories,” those who have “gifted” an ornament will be invited to keep the ornament as a personal keepsake of their memory at the end of the holiday season, after the tree is removed from the hospital’s front lobby.

The ornaments are hung on the tree as they are gifted. Sponsorship of one ornament is $20, and anyone can gift as many ornaments as they wish. Ornaments can be gifted by groups or by individuals. Gifted ornaments can honor a group, an individual such as a teacher, a parent, a friend or other loved one.

Anyone who gifts an ornament can provide a name or message that will be inscribed on the ornament tag for them.

“It’s the goal of the foundation and Hospice of Care to have at least 100 ornaments gifted in recognition of someone this holiday season,” director Jay Gentry said.

Hospice of Care uses the funding they receive from the program to provide hospice care, supplies and equipment for patients and their families in Texas County and surrounding areas. The foundation uses their portion of the funds in meeting a mission of ensuring the quality of healthcare services for children, women and men at the county hospital.

“I am already soliciting and receiving sponsorships for the Celebrate Our Memories program,” Gentry said. “We hope to have several ornaments on the tree as soon as it goes up.”

Those who wish to gift an ornament should contact Courtney Owens, director of TCMH Hospice of Care, at 417-967-1279 for a form to fill out. Forms are also available at the TCMH Auxiliary Gift Shop located at the front entrance to the hospital and on the foundation’s website at

A letter of recognition will be sent to those who gift an ornament. Ornaments will be available for pick up at the hospital after the holiday season.

All proceeds will remain in the area and directly impact the local community. Any donation made to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation or to Hospice of Care is tax deductible.

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