On Saturday, July 26, Floral Park and Hance Family Foundation supporters from more than 23 states, including from Michigan, Louisiana, and Arizona, from three countries joined in the remembrance of Emma, Alyson, and Katie Hance in the foundation’s annual Day of Remembrance. Green ribbons and balloons were tied generously around trees, lampposts, railing and garden stakes, celebrating the lives of the sisters, gone too soon.
The foundation’s Facebook page was loaded with photos and prayers and messages from around the globe, from those who participated in some way, remembering the sisters who died in a car accident on July 26, 2009, at ages 8, 7, and 5.
The Hance Family Foundation’s mission for the Day of Remembrance not only celebrates the lives of the Hance sisters, but reminds people to cherish their loved ones, to spend time with family and maintain a specialness about the day.
Warren Hance, the father of the three girls, posted this message on foundation’s Facebook page, co-founded with his wife, Jackie:
“July 26, 2014. It has been 5 years since we hugged and kissed Emma, Alyson & Katie. It has been 5 years since our lives changed forever and a new way of living began.
“Jackie and I are learning, day by day, how to live with loss. We have learned that we can’t stay within the loss, we can’t survive in that space. Staying within the loss means we are dead. We have to accept that loss is inescapable for all—you can’t live a life without it. While Jackie and I struggle to contain our loss and sadness, we ask ourselves what can we do in the face of indescribable loss? Our answer is we try to balance. We feel the loss. We acknowledge it everyday and then we work very hard to stay in the living moments we have. We have also learned to allow those who love us to be in our lives. We spend time helping others. We tell people that we see what they do for our family and we appreciate all of the kindness and generosity. We learn to love with broken hearts.
“We are fortunate that people often ask us what they can do or how they can help us. Here’s how—you can be kind to my girls by treating July 26th as a special day for the people who are important to you. Use this day as a reminder. Let July 26th be a day that shines a light on those you love, the people who you hold close, or maybe even those you miss. Honor these people by telling them or reconnecting with them on a day we hold for Emma, Alyson, Katie and all those who lost their lives on July 26th.
“Today I will focus on what I love and appreciate about my girls.
“Thank you for remembering and honoring our beautiful girls. We appreciate each and every one of you. We face each day with the support we receive from family, friends and strangers. Just as I did five years ago, I thank you for holding my daughters in your hearts.
“With love, WJH”
The Hance Family Foundation honors the lives of Emma, Alyson, and Katie Hance, by ensuring healthy, happy, and safe children through innovative self-esteem educational programming and the support of children in need.
On Thursday, Sept. 18, the Hance Family Foundation will hold its Inaugural Beautiful Me Gala, with Keynote Speaker Ann Curry and Honoree Ralph Selitti of the NY Islanders at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. The gala will include dinner, dancing, and a showcase of the foundation’s work over the past four years. Visit www.hancefamilyfoundation.org for tickets, sponsorship information and donations.