Hospice of Southern Maine is excited to once again light up Deering Oaks Park in Portland for its Twilight in the Park community remembrance event. Beginning at dusk on Saturday, Sept. 24, near the park bridge, thousands of luminarias will be lit to honor those who have passed. In addition to providing clinical hospice care to its patients, Hospice of Maine also offers grief support at no cost to anyone in the community. Many find coming together with others after a loss to be a profound and transformative experience in the process of healing.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, will be a featured speaker at this year’s event, which is free and open to the public. The lighting of the luminarias will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a brief program at 6:30 p.m.

Attendees may dedicate a personalized luminaria in memory of a loved one who has died or in honor of someone special in their life. Luminarias are $10 and can be purchased online, at the event, or by calling 207-289-3643. Orders must be received by Sept. 12 to be included in the event program and by Sept. 22 to have it placed in the park. They will also be available at the event for those interested in purchasing in person.

“After two years of hosting this event virtually, we’re so excited to be able to once again gather together in-person at Deering Oaks,” said Daryl Cady, CEO of Hospice of Southern Maine. “This event has been a meaningful one for so many people over the years, and there is a particular need at this point to gather and celebrate our loved ones after so many people have had their individual remembrance events interrupted due to COVID.”

Hospice of Southern Maine is a non-profit organization with the mission to provide compassion, care, and comfort through end of life. Formed through a collaborative effort among York and Cumberland County leaders and health care providers, Hospice of Southern Maine (HSM) organized in 2001 and began providing direct patient services in 2004. Today, HSM cares for nearly 2,000 patients annually, at the patient’s home, current care facility, and Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, an 18-suite inpatient facility in Scarborough. HSM admits patients with a variety of diagnoses, including Alzheimer’s; heart, lung, and kidney diseases; stroke; Lou Gehrig’s disease; and cancer. Care is patient-centered with family support and provided by a comprehensive interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, aides, chaplains, grief counselors, and volunteers. Hospice of Southern Maine is a non-profit 501(c)3, Medicare certified state licensed agency, and the largest independent provider of hospice services in Southern Maine. To learn more, visit http://www.hospiceofsouthernmaine.org.