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Garden dedicated to honor coronavirus victims

The newly-planted garden at the Ridgewood Rehabilitation and Living Center was dedicated to the residents of the center who passed from COVID-19 during a ceremony Wednesday. 

Held in conjunction with AseraCare Hospice, the dedication ceremony featured the reading of the names of those residents who passed away due to complications of the coronavirus and a dedication by Chaplain Bryant Alphin. In total, 45 residents at Ridgewood Rehabilitation and Living Center passed away because of the pandemic during 2020.  

“Our corporate CCH company is going to be doing a ceremony like this at all of our sister facilities in North Carolina,” said Courtney Mitchell, Marketing Director at Ridgewood Rehabilitation and Living Center. “We partnered with Michael Harris with AseraCare because they’ve always done the butterfly release part of it so we kind of just joined forces.”

The memorial garden was planned and planted by members of the Washington Girl Scout troop 1016 and features two juvenile butterfly bushes along with other plants intended to attract butterflies of all shapes and sizes to the garden and the plants take up root. 

“This is something that we do every year just because we’re in hospice so we always have people who are grieving. Last year, we weren’t able to do it because of COVID. This is the first time we’ve decided to partner with Ridgewood on something like this and we really wanted to specifically remember 2020,” Harris said.

The memorial garden is located in the courtyard of Ridgewood Rehabilitation and Living Center and features a bench for quiet contemplation and a plaque commemorating the residents who passed away.