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2004 KIP Award Winners


Product That Personalizes

First Place and Grand Prize Winner
Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Tim Lancaster, Executive Vice President
Eternal Hills has implemented an open-ended question process designed to elicit details about a loved one's interests and priorities during the arrangements conference. This results in a life appreciation service that can encompass six elements of focus: family, religion, hobbies, organizations, work and special events. The greater depth of information resulting from this process has led to innovative and expanded services.

Innovative Personalized Product (Supplier)

First Place
Renaissance Urn Company
San Francisco, California
Mary Hickey, Co-Founder
Renaissance Urn has designed a silk remembrance urn package that serves as both an urn and a storage place for memories. It includes a photo frame, note cards on which to share memories, a pen/flower holder and a padded silk slipcover.

Honorable Mentions
Making Everlasting Memories
Cincinnati, Ohio
Phyllis Hershman, Director of Business Development
A leading Internet-based memorial archive and tribute movie production company, Making Everlasting Memories provides families with a password-protected Internet site to post biographies, sign guest books and store photographs and moving images.

Integrity Burial Boxes
Roanoke, Virginia
J. Pat Green, President
Integrity's publication of "The ABCs of Building and Marketing a Columbarium Wall" provides a step-by-step guide for anyone considering building a columbarium wall. The book includes designs, photographs, pre-construction and construction check lists, cost estimate forms, niche specifications, box-urn information and a free customizable marketing brochure on CD.

Magic Moment

First Place
Nelsen Funeral Homes
Richmond, Virginia
Blair Nelsen, President
and MKJ Marketing
Largo, Florida
Marilyn Jones Gould, President
Realizing the need to memorialize pets in a dignified personal manner, Blair Nelsen has introduced Loving Pets Crematory. MKJ Marketing was commissioned to develop a Web site, an ad campaign and brochures. Personalized pet merchandise such as urns, keepsakes and memorials have been offered to a wide market.

Honorable Mentions
Warren County Memorial Park
Warren, Pennsylvania
Ruth F. Seebeck, Secretary-Treasurer and Co-Manager
Warren County Memorial Park commissioned a local ceramics shop to make hearts in a variety of colors and designs. The keepsake hearts are about 2 inches across and are unglazed on the back so that a family member or friend can pen a personal remembrance. This not only provides a remembrance of a loved one, but reminds friends and family of services available.

D'Esopo Funeral Chapel
Wethersfield, Connecticut
Michael Klett, President
and MKJ Marketing
Largo, Florida
Marilyn Jones Gould, President
The D'Esopo Life Tribute Center was created as a special place away from the funeral home setting that allows a family to make unique funeral arrangements in a less stressful atmosphere. Offering a single site for music, floral and catering planning has created interest among both the service provider community and families.

Most Personalized Service

First Place
Bringhurst Funeral Home at West Laurel Hill Cemetery
Cala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
Nevin W. Mann, President and CEO
In November 2004, "Mrs. W." died on a Thursday morning. The visitation was on the following Monday, and a church service followed on Tuesday. The arrangements organized during this short time frame included obtaining a pen-and-ink drawing of the mausoleum to be displayed at the service, displaying art created by Mrs. W., distributing calla lilies and pink breast cancer ribbons to attendees, taking photographs of all the floral arrangements and creating 25-slide personal DVDs with audio, which were played during the visitation on three televisions.

Honorable Mention
Cypress Lawn Cemetery Association
Colma, California
Ken Varner, President and CEO
The remains of 97 unidentified men, women and children who were buried in the mid-1880s in San Francisco's first public cemetery were discovered in the late 1990s by construction workers erecting the city's Main Library and Asian Art Museum. Cypress Lawn donated a $56,000 burial plot to the city and re-interred the remains in their Pioneer Garden. The service in November 2004 was attended by state and local dignitaries.

Special Events Over $1,000

First Place Winner
Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery
Kelowna, British Columbia
Dennis Radford, Cemetery Manager
Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery partnered with the local chapter of The Compassionate Friends to design and build a memorial for those whose children have predeceased their parents. The Compassionate Friends is an international support organization open to all bereaved parents and family members. The project includes a plaza with memorial walls, a dedication monument, a life-sized bronze statue and landscaping. Families were offered the opportunity to put a child's name on the memorial walls. Interest was so great that The Compassionate Friends had to cut off the names at 160. More than 500 family and friends attended the dedication.

Honorable Mentions
Nelsen Funeral Homes
Richmond, Virginia
Blair Nelsen, President
and MKJ Marketing
Largo, Florida
Marilyn Jones Gould, President
A free flag exchange was organized for Veterans Day by Nelsen and MKJ Marketing. People were encouraged to bring in old American flags for dignified disposal, and they received a new flag in exchange. A ceremony honoring local veterans also was held.

Chippiannock Cemetery
Rock Island, Illinois
Gregory M. Vogele, Superintendent
In conjunction with the celebration of the Grand Excursion of 1854, Chippiannock Cemetery held a Grand Epitaphs historical event. Costumed re-enactors performed historical vignettes revolving around 10 individuals buried at Chippiannock who were planners or had a part in bringing rail service to the Mississippi in 1854. The event included live period music and 'epitaffy,' a salt-water candy packaged in a bag, each featuring one of a series of original epitaphs gathered from cemetery memorials.

Special Events Under $1,000

First Place Winner
Keystone Group
Tampa, Florida
Jim Price, Chief Operating Officer
After the death of Ronald Reagan, the 100 Keystone affiliated funeral homes erected temporary memorial walls in honor of the former president. The public was invited to visit and sign condolence books, which were later forwarded to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. People also left candles, jellybeans, photos, drawings and memorabilia.

Honorable Mention

Wyuka Funeral Home and Cemetery
Lincoln, Nebraska
Bryan K. Block, Director of Cemetery Operations
Wyuka Funeral Home partnered with a local church to stage a Living Nativity in their historic stables building during the Christmas holidays. Choral/drama productions were presented in the chapel, animals were available for petting, food and monetary donations were collected for the local food bank, and gifts were purchased and wrapped for the People's City Mission.