For the 13th year, The Unforgettables will light candles culminating the Lights for Little Lives Walk in Loma Linda on Monday afternoon.
The nonprofit, founded more than a dozen years ago, helps families who have lost a child pay for burial expenses.
Organizers present the memorial walk, candle-lighting, child-naming and award ceremony on New Year's Eve for hundreds to reflect on the lives and journeys of children."The Light for Little Lives Memorial Walk brings together families, friends and the community to remember the many children in our community who have died too soon," said Chaplain Tim Evans, Unforgettables Foundation founder.
During the event, the group assembles at 3:30 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of the Ronald McDonald House, 11365 Anderson St., Loma Linda, across the street from Children's Hospital, and walks to Campus Hill Church, where the lighting will take place.
The three-block walk is led by Boy Scouts, children, physicians, firemen, funeral professionals and faith community leaders.
They walk down Anderson Street to the Campus Hill Church for the 30-minute candle lighting. They read names recognizes more than 25 families whose child has died.
Free and open to the public, the event also recognizes those who work to heal, rescue and save children.
Four physicians, Dr. Scott Nelson of Loma Linda; Dr. Mary Mailander of Redlands; Dr. Connell Bost of Riverside; and Dr. Maureen Strohm of La Quinta will receive the Top Doctor Pediatric award for their caring and compassion toward area children.
Cathy Waleszonia, who lost her teenage son in a tragic accident, will release a dove at sunset, joined by a dozen doves in a memorial flight.
"Many say the dove flight, symbolic of a heavenly journey, is a key highlight of the celebratory awareness event," Evans said.
"The event is another way the organization is able to further touch the lives of family members and loved ones in a caring way," he added.
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