By Gilbert Hoffman
An impressive new facility at Brookside Funeral Home and Memorial Park was dedicated last Thursday afternoon, with a large crowd of community leaders and friends of Brookside present for the dedication ceremonies.
A highlight of the event was the recognition of a person in the community for helping others with a selfless spirit. The founder of Aldine YOUTH, Sylvia Bolling, received the first annual Brookside Angel Award. In his presentation, General Manager Ken Lyon noted that Bolling had affected the lives of a lot of people in this world for the better, and gave confidence to those in need. Brookside gave Bolling a bronze Eagle award, a glass trophy, and a check for $1000 to further the work at Aldine YOUTH.
Lyon was the host and emcee of the hour long program, which included music by a string quartet, presentation of the flag by Boy Scout Troop 727, remarks by leaders of the Dignity Memorial company, prayers by Rev. Keith Cistrunk and Father Raphael Villareal, a dove release, and ribbon cutting with the Humble Chamber of Commerce.
Lyon explained to the audience that Dignity has decided several years ago, even during a slow economic period, to rebuild their funeral home at Brookside and invest in the community, because “we believe in this community,” and it continues a long history of service to people in this area. He thanks everyone for their positive response and comments to the new building and surrounding facilities.
Dignity’s Greg Meek spoke about the services offered by Brookside, and the fact that it is part of a nationwide chain that includes 1600 funeral homes and cemeteries, and these services are transferable. Narda Macias-Davis presented the same information in Spanish for the audience.
In accepting the Angel award, Ms. Bolling recounted how her dream “is being lived out now,” after starting YOUTH twenty-two years ago, from only her car. It evolved into a 6.8 acre site and building on Aldine Mail Route. Now she serves hundreds of children and families, with 27 programs of social and educational benefits. She thanked Brookside for partnering with her, and investing in the community.
The ceremony ended with closing remarks by Dignity’s David Nichols, and a dove release and ribbon cutting. Tours of the building and refreshments followed this.