Dedicating a tree in the Memorial Forest is a unique way to celebrate the life of a loved one and honour their memory. As a symbol of strength, shelter and durability, a living tribute can be a source of comfort and meaning.
The Memorial Forest program was established in 1998 when Ron and Carolyn Brown planted the first tree in memory of Lion Stew O’Brien, PCC, a Charter Member of the Lions Foundation of Canada. Since that time, the Memorial Forest program has generated great interest among the Lions’ family and Dog Guide supporters. As such, the forest will continue to flourish for future generations and assist funding Dog Guides to help change lives.
The Memorial Forest generates funds for the Lions Foundation of Canada’s seven Dog Guide programs: Canine Vision, Hearing, Service, Seizure Response, Autism Assistance, Diabetic Alert and Facility Support. Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides mission is to assist Canadians with a medical or physical disability by providing them Dog Guides at no cost.
Trees planted in the Memorial Forest are in memory of a Lion or friend of the Lions Foundation. The name of the deceased is inscribed on a plaque and placed at the base of the tree. An in memoriam certificate, stating that a tree is planted in memory of the deceased, is sent to a designated family member or friend. Each year a dedication service is held at the Memorial Forest and a dedication service brochure is printed with the names of those for whom a tree has been planted in the preceding year.
To ensure the on-going maintenance of the Memorial Forest, Lions Foundation of Canada has established the Ballantyne Family Memorial Forest Endowment Fund with an initial substantial donation from the Ballantyne family of Elmira. Additional donations ensure funds are available for the continual care of the forest.