Dear Editor:

For the past six years, Informed Final Choices and the Crestone End of Life Project have sponsored a number of events during October.

October 2006 is when we held our first open meeting to discuss the viability of establishing an open-air cremation site in Crestone. In October 2007 we received legal authorization to operate the open-air site and to serve our community.

Our first Death Café on Nov. 1, 2013, was held in what was then Jillian’s Studio. It was attended by more than 45 participants and was part of a larger, community Day of the Dead celebration organized by Allison Wonderland.

After the Death Café, everyone walked to the town cemetery for John O’Donnell’s green burial at the town cemetery – our community’s first green burial.

The tradition of October CEOLP/IFC events has continued and expanded to include film screenings and contemplative arts workshops, CEOLP registration parties, performances by the Crestone Threshold Singers, presentations on LeaveLight – a “holistic approach to advance directives and end-of-life choices,” facilitated by Marcella Friel – and the ever-popular Death Cafés.

We couldn’t do any of this without the participation of the fabulous IFC/CEOLP volunteers, the generosity of the Saguache County commissioners/sales tax grant and local community members who host these events at their venues.

Oh! Almost forgot! And the delicious gluten-free cookies lovingly made for each of our events by the Tieder family at Our Food Is Art.

Just to give you an idea of the level of involvement for this year’s events: Peter Taylor designed and published all of our event posters; Shumei International, Tsering and Ling Dorje of the Desert Sage, the town of Crestone, Judith Oakland and Colorado College made their venues available.

Peter Macy and the Mount Blanca Music Conservatory provided an umbrella for event insurance – don’t miss their upcoming holiday concert in December.

Allison Wonderland, Judith Oakland and Noah Baen facilitated the arts workshop; Sharon Corcoran and Gussie Fauntleroy hosted the Death Café; Gregg Conlee operated the AV equipment for the HBO screening, while Shonda Johnson patiently showed us the Colorado College ropes.

Kudos to our CEOLP registrar Denise Peine, notaries Lori Nagel and Rene Evenson, the volunteers who operated our now-defunct copy machine and all the others who assisted at the Registration Party.

Of course, the most important contributors were you: our wonderful community.

We thank you for your support and participation.

Stephanie Gaines for the Informed Final Choices and Crestone End of Life Project joint board of directors