Summersett Funeral Home invites public to see ‘Memorial Holiday Tree,’ donate toys, clothing

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2014

By Mark Wineka

SALISBURY — For more than 10 years now, Summersett Funeral Home & Cremation Center at 1315 W. Innes St., has paid special tribute to the people and families it has assisted during the year, by providing a “Memorial Holiday Tree” in its lobby.

The tree is filled with hand-painted, porcelain dove ornaments, which include the names and dates of the people the funeral home has served. Summersett sends out letters to the families of those individuals represented by the ornaments, and invites them in to see the tree and take their loved ones’ ornaments home with them.

More than 300 ornaments are on the tree this year.

“It kind of puts it all in perspective, and we see all the families we’ve touched throughout the year on that one tree,” said Staton Carton, a funeral director and secretrary-treasurer for the company.

The ornament also gives the families something tangible they can put on their own Christmas tree, while saving it for display year after year, Carter said.

Summersett Funeral Home invites the public to view the special holiday tree at any time during normal business hours. The tree can be viewed through Dec. 31.

In addition over the holiday season, Summersett is involved in collecting toys for needy children and clothing for homeless veterans. Collection boxes for these donations are available in the front and back lobbies of the funeral home.

Summersett is participating as one of the official locations in the “Toys for Tots” program through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Toys donated go to needy children in the Salisbury-Rowan area. Toys contributed should be new and unwrapped. They can be of any size, for boys or girls, and the age range is not restricted, though they are, of course, meant for children.

For every toy brought in, Summersett matches it one-for-one.

The funeral home has been collecting toys since Thanksgiving and will continue through Dec. 19.

In a partnership with Comfort Keepers, Summersett is collecting clothing, blankets, coats and toiletries for homeless veterans, also through Dec. 19.

These items can be new or gently used.

Carter said if anyone is cleaning out a clothing closet this winter, it might be a good opportunity to donate some of those items for homeless veterans.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.