FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Sarah Slack, Founder and Executive Director, The TEARS Foundation, (253) 426-2738

Cameron Smock, President and CEO, Bonney-Watson, (206) 242-1787

ANGEL OF HOPE ARRIVES IN SEATAC ON SEPTEMBER 9

First memorial in the U.S. to honor the lives of infants who died before their 1st birthday

SEATTLE, WA On September 9, 2012 at 12:00 noon, community leaders will unveil the new Angel of Hope monument at Bonney-Watson’s Washington Memorial Park in SeaTac. Designed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of The TEARS Foundation, the monument is the only one of its kind in the U.S. dedicated to the memory of infants who died before reaching their first birthdaymany before even taking their first breath.

It’s the loss no one wants to talk about—miscarriages, still births, or babies who died in their first year of life. But each year in the state of Washington, more than 1,000 babies die between 20 weeks gestation and one year of age, leaving tens of thousands of parents, grandparents, siblings, family and friends mourning their loss. Most parents are left wondering what to do, not only with their sorrow but with the unplanned expense of burying their child.

Founded in 2002 by Sarah Slack, The TEARS Foundation provides assistance for unexpected infant funeral expenses to families in Washington, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Arizona, Florida and Colorado.

“The loss of a baby creates unique and painful grief that most people don’t know how to handle,” said Slack, whose own son died unexpectedly 12 years ago. “These people have dreams and hopes for their babies, but no memories. This Angel of Hope public memorial is designed to honor those dreams and hopes; to give grieving family and friends a place to go to remember these precious babies, and to see their name live on forever.”

Washington State’s Department of Health reported 389 deaths of infants less than one year old in 2010. Of those, 190 were from King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. But Slack notes that these official records only record live births. “Every year in Washington, there are more than 1,000 deaths of infants ranging in age from 20 weeks gestation to one year, which means about two-thirds of these deaths are from babies who never took their first breath.”

The Angel of Hope memorial was made possible by The TEARS Foundation in partnership with Bonney-Watson (who donated the land and all improvements at Washington Memorial Park in SeaTac), Quiring Monuments (who contributed the granite Angel statue and benches, as well as the butterfly wings on which the names of 88 babies are etched) and Milne Construction (who donated the glass plaque with etched poem, penned by author Sheri Blumberg, a past recipient of TEARS support).

“So many people are touched in some way by the loss of an infant,” said Slack. “Regardless of whether their baby died two months or 20 years ago, their pain remains real. The Angel of Hope Memorial gives our community a way to acknowledge this type of loss… to give families a place to go to honor the life of their baby.”

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SEATTLE, WA September 9, 2012

Contact:

Sarah Slack, Founder and Executive Director, The TEARS Foundation, (253) 426-2738

Cameron Smock, President and CEO, Bonney-Watson, (206) 242-1787

ANGEL OF HOPE ARRIVES IN SEATAC ON SEPTEMBER 9

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Event Details:

Sunday, September 9, 2012 from noon to 1:00 pm
Bonney-Watson Washington Memorial Park at 16445 International Boulevard in SeaTac, WA 98188
Program will include speakers, monument unveiling, dove release and performance by the Angel of Hope Children’s Choir (featuring children of families who have experienced the loss of a baby)
This is a public ceremony; media representatives are welcome.

Contributors:

The TEARS Foundation is an award-winning local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to compassionately assist bereaved parents with the financial expenses they face in making final arrangements for their baby who has died. Founded in 2002, The TEARS Foundation is located in Puyallup, WA. www.thetearsfoundation.org

Bonney-Watson has provided caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868, making them the oldest continually operating business in Seattle. They have a professional staff, four funeral homes (Ballard, Capitol Hill, SeaTac and Federal Way), two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle. www.bonneywatson.com

Quiring Monuments brings more than 100 years of family tradition to provide unique memorials for cemeteries, gardens and public monuments. Based in Seattle, Quiring has professional designers on staff; they also have their own manufacturing capabilities. www.monuments.com

Milne Construction Company was founded in 1953, and since then has constructed more than 1,000 memorial structures throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia. Milne began building in Australia in 1994. Today, they have offices in Oregon and New Jersey as well as Ontario, Canada and Australia. www.milneconstruction.com

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