Erath County’s Tree of Angels will take flight Tuesday with its seventh annual ceremony at the Courthouse Annex at 7 p.m.

“It’s a time for victims to be helped for what they have gone through - to let them know they are not alone in the victimization,” Virginia Armendariz, a bilingual legal advocate for Cross Timbers Family Services, said. “It is a time and place to honor the memories of those who were lost to some kind of victimization.”

The Tree of Angels program was established in 1991 by Verna Lee Carr in Austin. Carr’s goal was to publicly recognize that the holiday season is a difficult time for victims and their families.

Gov. Rick Perry recently issued a proclamation that designated Nov. 19-Dec. 5 as Tree of Angels Week in Texas.

The ceremony will open with words from District Attorney Jason Cashon. Cashon’s opening remarks will be followed by guest speaker Athena Dowell, who was a victim of sexual assault in Erath County in 2001.

Guests will have an opportunity to decorate ornaments, which will be placed on the tree in memory of victims of family violence.

“People will decorate the tree themselves,” Armendariz said. “The guests who come there are most likely victims of the crime. It is enabling for the survivors of violent crimes to place angel ornaments on the Christmas tree to support them or the memories of their loved ones who have been killed or injured by violent crimes.”

The public is invited to attend.

The Courthouse Annex is located at 102 W. College Street in Stephenville.