The University Place-Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the City of University Place http://cityofup.com brings people in the local business community together each month at a designated business location in what is known as "Partner UP" ("UP" as in University Place). For the November 1st gathering, New Tacoma Cemeteries and Funeral Home was the host business. With November 1st being the Day of the Dead it seemed a perfect pairing for the location and the observance.
Dozens of Chamber business members and other business and civic leaders in University Place including the mayor, several council members, and other city officials came together for conversation, sharing business challenges and successes, exchanging ideas, and enjoying each other's company in the quiet comfortable location, becoming better acquainted.
Business today is all about relationship-building. Partner UP is a valuable networking and relationship-building event where there is time for face-to-face communication not simply via text messaging or e-mail as so much of our contact is today.
Pamela Maddess of New Tacoma had special white luminary bags die-cut with a lovely design. They were made available on a table for the guests to decorate in memory of their loved ones. She included adhesive stickers with several different sayings such as "In Loving Memory..." and a rainbow of colored pens. Some of the guests were more artistic in their creative expression than others; some simply wrote the name of their loved one as a tribute in their favorite color.
Each guest had an opportunity to create customized luminaria (similar to the way in which the track is lined with luminaria during the Relay for Life). It was a time for thoughtful reflection about those who have gone on before us, perhaps have made the path better for each of us, and just to take a few moments to remember them, decorate the luminaria in their honor, and when complete white sand was added into the base of each, and a battery-operated votive was placed inside.
Then the luminaria were displayed outside the entrance to the building along the walkway. As the sun set, it was simply lovely to see their flickering gentle lights illuminating the pathway. When guests left for home at the end of the evening, they were invited to take the luminary bag they had created and keep it as a memento of the gathering and the 2012 Day of the Dead. http://newtacoma.com