The Dedication Ceremony

The Dedication Ceremony

as told by Linda Mullenix

“The dedication day started out with a beautiful sunny day. More then an hour before the event cars started to enter the park. We planned on approximately 250 people to attend, but I believe somewhere between 300 to 500 people came that day. Scott Carson’s words from the groundbreaking ceremony were coming true, “If we build it they will come”. As the dedication ceremony started so did my tears. As they rolled down my cheeks I knew that they were tears of joy, sadness, peace and even Hope.”


“We had arranged seating for 250 and there were hundreds more standing, completely enveloping the Angel of Hope memorial Garden. Parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, friends and loved ones, all came to grieve the children who have left us too soon. It was a mystical, uplifting day, the sun warmed our bodies, the angel warmed our souls.”    – Sandi Daniels


“Lora Wade’s beautiful voice filled the air, bringing tears to our eyes as we thought of our loved ones. The harp was played by Beth Pare’ and it took my breath away. It was such beautiful peaceful music. The harp itself was a slice of heaven. Words of compassion, understanding, love, hope and faith were shared.”

Lora Wade touched our hearts by singing, “Dancing in the Light”.

Beth Pare’ touched our souls with heavenly music from the harp.

Angel of Hope Chairman, Scott Carson

Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein

Mayor Stephen J. Luecke

“Richard Paul Evans the author of the book The Christmas Box was there. He shared stories of hope and healing. He was a very compassionate person. After the ceremony he took the time to sign autographs.”

Special guest, Richard Paul Evans, author of “The Christmas Box”.

Richard Paul Evans with Lisa Haines, one of the committee members. Lisa was instrumental in having Richard Paul Evans join us on this special day.

Richard Paul Evans spoke of love, hope, and healing.

How Our Garden Grew

The Ground Breaking

The Angel of Hope...

The Christmas Box Angel Statue or the Angel of Hope as it is sometimes referred to, was introduced to the world in the book The Christmas Box, a worldwide bestseller and hit television movie by author Richard Paul Evans. In the book, a woman mourns the loss of her child at the base of an angel monument.
Though the story is mostly fiction, the angel monument once existed but was lost in the 1984 Salt Lake City flood. A new bronze statue was commissioned by the author in response to reports that grieving parents were seeking out the angel as a place to grieve and heal. The first angel monument was dedicated in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 6, 1994. Since this time, 100 other angel monuments have been dedicated across the country with more being built.

The South Bend angel is the 25th angel to be dedicated.

Plans to erect an angel monument in the Michiana area started in the fall of 2000. A group of bereaved parents and other community members shared a vision of a quiet place where families could go to remember their children and heal. With this vision in mind, the group decided to create a memorial garden with the Angel of Hope as it's centerpiece.

The Angel of Hope statue is made by Ortho and Jared Fairbanks, a father and son team. Timothy J. Wall AIA, an architect and member of the planning committee designed the garden.

The Angel of Hope Memorial Garden was dedicated on Sunday, October 28, 2001 with over 500 persons in attendance.

The Angel of Hope Memorial Garden is located in South Bend’s beautiful Pinhook Park, overlooking the St. Joseph River.

The garden is surrounded by tall shade trees and flowering dogwoods. Flowers bloom in the planter that gently leads visitors along the brick pathway to the Angel of Hope statue. The four foot tall bronze statue of a little girl angel with arms reaching outward provides comfort to those who grieve. The lawn and benches within the walls of the garden provide a quiet and peaceful place in the park for reflection. The memorial bricks which make up the 'Path of Lost Dreams' help families and other visitors to remember and pay tribute to those children, regardless of age, whose parents and families must go on without them.

It is anticipated that the Angel of Hope Memorial Garden will serve an important need in the Michiana community now and in the future.