Tampa Bay Rays host 1st Annual Senior Prom for Senior Citizens at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, August 18 at 1:10 p.m.
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Tickets start at just $10. Dick Crippen, a Rays senior advisor and former 10 News sports director, will emcee the event. It will feature music from an older era, Elvis and Sinatra impersonators — and classic scoreboard graphics, too. Plus, after the game, during the Senior Shuffle, fans will get to dance in the outfield.

Senior groups with special tickets can pose for a senior prom photo, a prom king and queen will be crowned from the seniors section, plus, first 1,000 folks in those special groups will get a boutonniere or a corsage.

For more info please contact the group ticket office at (727) 825-3406 or by e-mail at groupsales@raysbaseball.com.

Evan Longoria pitches his idea for a "Senior Prom for Senior Citizens" to Johnny Damon in this still image from a TV ad for the Pepsi "Refresh Project."

Evan Longoria pitches his idea for a "Senior Prom for Senior Citizens" to Johnny Damon in this still image from a TV ad for the Pepsi "Refresh Project."

Funeral Rites of Ancient Rome
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

              Ancient Roman FuneralFuneral customs are as old as civilization itself.   Indeed, every culture and civilization ever studied appears to have some form of funeral ritual, including a sacred place for those who have died and some means of memorializing their death.  Moving beyond these basic commonalities, however, funeral rites differ significantly.  Among the most elaborate of all burial rituals are those that were practiced in ancient Rome. 

 

            Funerals in ancient Rome for the poor were usually simple.  However, the funerals of the wealthy were quite a different story.  Funerals of the socially prominent were generally organized by professional undertakers called libitinarii who provided mourning women, musicians, and sometimes dancers and mimes.  As part of the funeral process, the deceased’s family would gather together and ride in chariots at the front of a large procession through the streets of Rome. When the procession reached the forum, the deceased was displayed and a eulogy was read.

 

            Romans either buried or cremated their loved ones.  Food, golden trinkets and various perfumes were all buried in the tombs of the rich.  It is thought these items were meant to help the deceased on his or her journey through the underworld.  Sometimes, although not often, the deceased seemed to have been granted a sort of “hero” status, almost being treated like a god after death.  In that case, the deceased would occupy a temple, tomb, or mausoleum where the public could enter.  If cremation was preferred, the deceased was cremated on a pyre, often with gifts and some of his or her personal belongings.

 

Ancient Roman Funeral Arch            Remembering and honoring the deceased members of their family was very important to the Romans, and this belief is evident in the intricate nature of their burial practices. It is interesting how these traditions have been carried on and improved.  But, today in our culture, you don’t have to be wealthy to have a nice funeral.  We believe everyone should have an opportunity to say goodbye.

Expressions of Sympathy
Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Do you have a friend or family member who is going through a particularly rough time with the loss of a loved one?  Do you want to help them through their time of grief but aren’t exactly sure what you should do?  If so, then you can show that person that you are thinking about them by sending a sympathy gift that may help brighten their day.

Alternative-giftThere are many different ways, some traditional and some more contemporary, to express sympathy after someone you know loses a loved one.  Although flowers are still the most popular option, you might consider a more personalized gift.  For instance, a sympathy card, particularly one with a personalized note, may be more appropriate to express your condolences.   To this end, a message sharing a treasured memory of the deceased if you knew him or her or a note expressing your fondness for the card’s recipient in addition to your feelings about the loss are thoughtful touches.  In addition to sympathy cards, sympathy gift baskets are a particularly considerate choice.  Edible gift basket choices range from fruits, crackers and cheeses to “comfort food,” while other baskets contain reusable gifts such as mugs, books and candles which will be a lasting reminder of your expression of sympathy. 

           

Performing chores for the bereaved is yet another great way for you to express your condolences while also freeing up time for the family member to complete the many tasks that must be done.  You might consider volunteering to help out with the shopping or childcare, both of which show your heartfelt commitment to helping the bereaved in their time of need.  For some families, food is a big comfort when mourning.  If you live close by, you could prepare some easy entrees that can be frozen and reheated, or if you are from out of state there are excellent meal services you can order to send such as Honey Baked Ham or you can often call a local restaurant and have a meal sent over.

           

Finally, other nontraditional gestures of sympathy may be appropriate depending on your budget and affiliation with the deceased.  For instance, you might consider an engraved memorial plaque or a website filled with pictures and remembrances.  Other ideas include donating to the deceased’s favorite charity or even dedicating a public room, wing, or building in the deceased’s honor.

           

However you chose to express your sympathy to the bereaved, the important thing is to let the person suffering the loss know that he or she is in your thoughts and can rely on you in their time of need. For more ideas please ask one of our funeral directors and they would be happy to give you some suggestions.

Family-Owned Funeral Homes: The Right Choice in Your Time of Need
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Over the years many family owned funeral homes have been acquired by large, international corporations; you may have noticed advertisements for funeral homes featuring family ownership.  But you may ask yourself what difference does it make if a funeral home is family owned or corporate operated?  The most important factor to you is price; family owned funeral homes typically charge much less than corporate operated funeral homes, and for very good reasons. 

 Family Owned

When the corporations acquired the family funeral homes they typically borrowed money to pay for those businesses, leaving them with large debt payments.  Most family owned funeral businesses have little if any debt because the businesses have been in the family for many years. 

 

 Secondly, family owned funeral homes do not have stockholders or Wall Street investors to answer to.  Family owned funeral homes work for the families that choose them; just one family serving another. 

 

Third, family owned funeral homes do not have corporate overhead like big offices, highly paid CEO’s and Board of Directors.   

 

Fourth, and most important, is that funeral customs are not the same everywhere.   In fact, funeral services vary greatly from one region of the country to another.  Corporations transfer managers from one funeral home to another; often to communities new to them.  It is very difficult for corporate executives to understand the nuances of a funeral in a part of the country they are not familiar with.   Family members and staff at locally owned funeral homes are typically from the community they serve, and work there for generations.  As a result we have a better understanding of the expectations of the families that select our firm. 

 

Not all corporations are bad for the communities they are in.  Large manufacturing companies, airlines, and other businesses that require large capital investments are good and necessary.  But a funeral business is by its very nature a local business, and we feel we are better positioned to give you the best value, the best service, with people you can trust.  After all, our name is on the sign and our reputation is our most valuable possession.

Dealing With a Loved One’s Belongings After Their Death
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Personal Box     After the loss of a loved one, there is one task that is typically the most emotional of all – dealing with the belongings of the deceased. For many people, sorting and organizing their loved one’s personal property can seem like an insurmountable task when the death is still fresh in their minds.  Thus, the first few weeks after the loved one’s passing are probably far too soon to begin this process.  Remember, disposing of a loved one’s possessions quickly will not make the pain go away any quicker.  With that in mind, you should take your time and embark on this important step in the grieving process when you are emotionally ready.

 

     In general, you will want to separate your loved one’s belongings into two main categories: items for family and friends and those for sale or charity.  The first category should include the clothing and personal items that you want to keep.  These can be things that you desire for yourself, or things you will want to pass along to other family members or close friends.  For the second category of items, if your loved owned numerous antiques or other valuables, then you might consider disposing of those items through an estate sale.  Otherwise, you may want to have a garage or yard sale, or even possibly sell the items in an online auction.  Regardles of how you decide to categorize and dispose of the deceased’s possessions, remember to stay organized.  Becoming organized about the job will make you feel more in charge and less overwhelmed as you sort through your loved one’s belongings.

           

     Finally, it is important to realize that touching, smelling, or even simply seeing your loved one’s possessions will bring back a flood of feelings.  Thus, unless you absolutely must sort through the possessions by yourself, it is a good idea to have a close friend or family member with you.  It can be a very comforting experience to reminisce with that person about a particular piece of clothing the deceased loved to wear or a silly or unique item your loved one collected.  

           

     Sorting through the remaining belongings may be painful, but it can also bring back positive memories.  Be sure to take a moment with each item, thinking back over all the memories it evokes.  In doing so, it will certainly help you as you move through the grieving process.

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