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19th annual Tree of Angels set for Tuesday

E-T Staff Report

The Erath County victim services staff will virtually host the 19th annual Tree of Angels virtually on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

A video link will be posted to the Erath County website at www.co.erathtxus.

The Tree of Angels is a time for victims, families and friends to come together and remember those that have been victimized or lost due to violent crime.

Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 2, victims, families and friends are welcome to bring a new angel or other ornament to place on the tree at the Donald R. Jones Justice Center, located at 298 S. Graham St. in  Stephenville.

Participants may enter at the corner of Graham and McNeill streets. Hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

History of the Tree of Angels

In 1991, the Tree of Angels was initiated in Austin by People Against Violent Crime. The Tree of Angels recognizes that the holiday season is a difficult time for victims and their families. This special event honors surviving victims of violent crime and victims' families by making it possible for loved ones to bring an angel ornament to place on a special Christmas tree.

It is a reverent forum for the community to join together to remember, include and support victims of crime who are a part of our lives and communities. Above all, the Tree of Angels is an expression of the realization of love. Since its inception, the Tree of Angels has become a memorable tradition observed throughout Texas communities within 32 counties and in Australia.

On March 21, 2000, the United States Patent and Trademark Office registered the Tree of Angels. On Nov. 9, 2000, former Texas Gov. George W. Bush issued a statewide proclamation designating the week of Dec. 4-10, 2000 as Tree of Angels Week in Texas. This proclamation acknowledges that in 1991, Verna Lee Carr of PAVC established the Tree of Angels and gave tribute to Nell Myers for her life-long dedicated work and many achievements for victims of crime. Former Gov. Rick Perry since has issued a statewide proclamation designating the first week in December as Tree of Angels Week in Texas.

In 2002, Erath County District Attorney victim services began a Tree of Angels program to remember victims and their families and to honor surviving victims of violent crime in the local community.

For more information about victim services and/or the Tree of Angels, contact Sandra Coronado in the Erath County District Attorney's Office at (254) 965-1462 or via email at daclerk@co.erath.tx.us