The Keeping It Personal (KIP) Awards was started in 2001 by the ICCFA’s Personalization subcommittee to encourage the sharing of ideas for personalizing services and products to better serve families.

You can learn more about our award winners and find more information below

Cemetery

Cemetery

Funeral Home

Funeral Home

Innovative Personalized Product

Innovative Personalized Product

Most Personalized Pet Service

Most Personalized Pet Service

Past Categories

Past Categories

Cemetery Category – Most personalized service, memorial, or event winners

2021

First Place

9/11 Memorial

Washington Park Cemetery Association/Buchanan Group – Indianapolis, Indiana

In partnership with the Buchanan Group, Washington Park Cemetery Association commemorated the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and the lives lost by unveiling the 9/11 Memorial. This symbolic memorial features 2,977 medallions with the names of those who lost their lives, and the nine fallen Hoosiers have a blue state of Indiana medallion added to their names. The medallions are suspended from the ceiling which forms the shape of “9/11”. With the help of Washington Park Cemetery, artist Arlon Bayliss, Bob and Mark Buchanan, Buchanan Group’s President Tony Lloyd, was able to create the 9/11 Memorial in a way that was both innovative and impactful.

Honorable Mention

Champions Of Change: A Celebration Of Women’s History

Hillside Cemetery – Wilton, Connecticut

To safely engage the local community, and to tie-in with the 100-year anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote, Hillside Cemetery’s Executive Administrator Pamela Brown created Champions of Change: A Celebration of Women’s History. This self-guided walking tour recognizes local women and their significant contributions to Wilton and beyond. By walking this new annual tour, you’ll meet women who will not only educate, but inspire you to realize the power within you to help make your community the place you want it to be now and in the future.

202o

First Place

Healing Path

Grandview Cemetery – Maryville, Tennessee

To create a meaningful connection that would build trust and value in the importance of a cemetery’s lasting heritage among a changing demographic, the Healing Path was born. The Healing Path is a self-guided and interactive initiative that’s designed to help visitors in their journey through grief. Visitors receive a 30-page field guide that provides practical steps and guidance as they search for support, rediscover meaning, honor their loved ones, and look or hope. Comprised of 6 stations, each includes an informational sign and an engaging activity. The Healing Path provides “a sacred space – set apart and designed especially for your care – a special place for nurture, comfort, empathy, reconciliation, and forgiveness.” Pg.3 in the field guide.

Honorable Mention

Day Of Remembrance

Friends Of Maple Grove Cemetery – Kew Gardens, New York

2020 was the 15th anniversary for the Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery’s Day of Remembrance event, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this normally in-person event was transformed into a virtual experience. This event included a 30-minute online presentation that was divided into segments that would focus on specific messages. A Remembrance Tree banner was installed in the Celebration Hall at the Maple Grove Center with a life-sized image of a bare tree so that families could add their personalized leaf to the tree and watch it flourish. The families sent in their leaves by mail, email, fax, or hand-carried to the cemetery.

Funeral Home Category – Most personalized service, memorial, or event winners

2021

First Place

Hannah’s Home Funeral Green Burial

Connecticut Life Tributes – Wallingford, Connecticut

The death of children, especially infants, can be the most challenging, for both the parents and funeral directors. When Amanda King and Jayson Dahlgard of CT Life Tributes/Bailey Family Funeral Homes took the call from local parents asking for a green burial service for their child, they knew they had to find a way to pull off this tremendous assignment. Being only a few months old, Hannah succumbed to health complications after birth, which had led her to never being able to live a day outside the hospital. Amanda and Jayson realized the gift it would be to finally bring Hannah home to their family, albeit to say both hello and goodbye – as her green burial also became a home funeral for their family. They created an infant-sized shroud, making straps out of felt fabric. One of the straps was embroidered with Hannah’s name, two flowers to symbolize her parents, and three stars for her siblings Hannah never was able to meet. The parents were not only able to shroud her with guidance from Amanda, but also had the opportunity to take her shrouded body to their garden to adorn with their own homegrown flowers and herbs – a piece of their home forever bundled with her now.

Honorable Mention

Cade’s Memorial Service

Cloverdale Funeral Home – Boise, Idaho

When Cade Hollis, a 10-year-old boy who had a love for animals, passed away in a Seattle hospital during the COVID-pandemic in 2021, funeral director Heather Welborn went beyond to memorialize Cade’s life. COVID restrictions were still at an all-time high, so Heather was able to have a memorial service at the local petting zoo to accommodate gathering restrictions. Personalization touches included awareness ribbons for Cade’s heart defect, a large jar full of Cade’s favorite candy, a basket filled with Cade’s favorite dinosaur figurines that were given out, and so much more.

202o

First Place

Valda’s Memorial

Stephanie Longmuir & Associates – Victoria, Australia

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria Australia went into the strictest lockdown on March 28th. On April 7, Valda Cumming, Order of Australia Medal recipient, had passed away. Val’s family had contacted three funeral companies but were unwilling to hold a memorial service. That is until Stephanie Longmuir was contacted. Stephanie was able to hold a memorial service in the family home while all health and safety requirements were met. While not everyone could attend, Zoom was used, and Valda’s grandson who was a musician in New York was able to perform. A photo tribute and a playlist of all of her favorite music was played in the background as the family participated in activities that honored her.

Honorable Mention

Sunset Celebration On A Life of Service

Robert Toale & Sons Funeral Home – Sarasota, Florida

John Buzilow, a U.S. Navy veteran, passed away on September 2, 2020. The staff at Robert Toale & Sons Funeral Home created a sunset memorial service on the beach to honor John’s life. A Life Story experience was created to greet John’s family and loved ones. This experience included showing depictions of different stages in John’s life. Family and friends would reconvene on Siesta Key Beach where a service was held. Each person received their own packaged meal and beverage provided by the caterer’s food truck. As the service ended, everyone watched the sunset as they remembered John.

Innovative Personalized Product Category

A product that memorializes in a personal and meaningful way. The product may be physical or virtual and may include, but is not limited to, memorials, monuments, urns, art, printed material and web-based tributes. Submissions for this category are limited to Supplier Members

2021

First Place

AFTR’s Solarpowered & Weatherproof Cemetery Cameras

AFTR – Brooklyn, New York

Founded in 2018, AFTR is a product that sets out to increase accessibility to burial sites for family and loved ones to be there when they cannot, changing the way people visit burial sites. With two camera types to choose from, GroundCam and MountCam, visiting your loved ones has never been easier. Through AFTR’s solar-powered and weatherproof camera and subscription-based app for iOS and Android, families can connect to their loved one and ensure their memorial is being cared for.

Honorable Mention

The Visit Box

The Visit Box – Windsor, Colorado

After losing her father unexpectedly during the COVID-19 pandemic and experiencing gravesite mementos being lost, Regan Espinosa created The Visit Box. This patent pending weatherproof box allows families and friends to securely store items and tokens at their loved one’s gravesite. This innovative product offers a solution to families’ fear of having their mementos lost or damaged.

202o

First Place

The Memory Maker

Capstone Technologies – Haines City, Florida

The Memory Maker is a web-based video recording app that captures the memories, stories, and condolences of mourners. By clicking on a link or scanning a customized QR code, families and friends are able to leave a video recording on any web-connected device. These videos can be shared and stored for later viewing. Funeral directors can post their clients’ Memory Maker link in their obituary, give it to the family to share on social media, and even print their custom QR code in the funeral bulletin or in a sign to display at the funeral. This virtual product has the option of adding a physical component – funeral homes can download the videos and store them on a DVD or flash drive for the family to keep.

Honorable Mention

TribuCast™

TribuCast™ – Wilton, Connecticut

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TribuCast further innovated their product to further meet their clients’ needs for the present as well as the future. The TribuCast™ Remote Attendance System™ creates a private online environment that closely matches the in-person experience of attending a funeral. Thanks to new technology, the product has the capacity to enable clergy, eulogists, and even musicians to contribute to the service from a variety of locations by using special effects including split-screen, screen-share, and more. Using TribuCast™ helps all loved ones grieve more effectively by including those who can’t be there in person and by creating a highly personalized enduring tribute to the life that was lost. Through its easy-to-use live stream technology and interactive touchpoints, TribuCast™ helps share family history and fond memories and put the life that was lost into greater context for both in-person and remote attendees.

2019

First Place

Parting Stone: Memorialized Stones

Parting Stone – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Parting Stone provides a service that offers a solid alternative to cremated remains. Families now have the option of receiving either “ashes” or “stones” following cremation. The shape, color, size, and texture of the solidified remains is 100% natural and varies depending on each unique batch of remains provided to their lab. Parting Stone’s solidification technology introduces a new form of human and animal remains and creates an entirely new category in death care. “Folks want permanent memorialization of their loss but, sometimes, just don’t know what to do with a box of ashes,” says Larry Stuart Jr., CEO of Cremation Strategies & Consulting. “The idea that remains can be offered as stones is monumental.” Click here to watch Parting Stone’s video.

Honorable Mention

Interactive Touchpoints

TribuCast™ – Wilton, Connecticut

2018

First Place

Domanicare

The Domani Group – Orem, Utah

Most aftercare programs are personalized and time-consuming, or efficient and impersonal. Because of the lack of time funeral home staff may have, The Domani Group developed Domanicare. Domanicare is a text message-based aftercare program that sends custom, personalized text messages that check in on the recently served families during their grieving. If the families respond, a highly-trained and compassionate staff responds, who continues this conversation with support. If the family has questions, the conversation is escalated and sent right away to the funeral home. All of the conversations are compiled and sent to the funeral home in a monthly report so they can see what families are saying about their services.

Honorable Mention

TOLAD (Totem Of Life And Death)

UPD Urns – Manassas, Virginia

2017

First Place

Heaven’s Maid: Graveside Cleaning Online Platform

Heaven’s Maid – Hazel Park, Michigan

Heaven’s Maid is an online platform that helps families order flowers and grave cleaning services to any cemetery nationwide. Whether the family lives out-of-state or are unable to make regular visits to the cemetery, they can use Heaven’s Maid to deliver fresh or silk flowers and schedule a cleaning service that consists of trimming grass, scrubbing off debris, and removal of weeds. After each scheduled maintenance, a confirmation photo is sent to the family.

Honorable Mention

Reef Balls

Memorial Reefs International, LLC – Hamilton Parrish, Bermuda

Past Winners

First Place – PlotBox Multi-Sided Platform
PlotBox – Portglenone, Antrim

Honorable Mention – Timeline of a Lifetime
webCemeteries – Kutztown, Pennsylvania

First PlaceVirtual Reality Experience
Cemetery360 – Sacramento, California

Honorable Mention – Web Chat Connect
Answering Service For Directors – Media, Pennsylvania

Honorable Mention – Tribute E-Guest
Frazer Consultants – Middleton, Wisconsin

Honorable Mention – Simpler Times
FrontRunner Professional – Kingston, Ontario, Canada

First PlaceLife Story Generating Software
YourDash – Dallas, TX

Honorable MentionOnline Casket Designer
LifeArt International – Hong Kong, China

First PlaceGPS Living Memorials App
webCemeteries – Kutztown, Pennsylvania

Honorable MentionT-Shirt Blanket
Project Repat – Boston, MA

Honorable MentionPaw PODS
Paw PODS, LLC – Lake Orion, MI

First PlaceEterniTrees
EterniTrees, LLC – Gresham, Oregon

Honorable MentionINEX Professional Processions
INEX Professional Processions – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Honorable MentionA Simple Thank You
A Simple Thank You – Merrionette Park, IL

First PlaceAlternative Solutions USA
Alternative Solutions USA – Spring Valley, California

Honorable MentionSignature Series
Signature Series – Madison, Wisconsin

Honorable MentionLove Ashes
Love Ashes – Lakewood Ranch, Florida

First PlaceHeartsong Memory Beads
Heartsong Memory Beads – San Diego, California

Honorable MentionShine On Brightly
Shine On Brightly – Asheville, North Carolina

Honorable MentionHainsworth USA
Hainsworth USA – Glenwood, Maryland

First PlaceTributes.com
Tributes.com – Charlestown, Massachusetts

First PlaceA Touch From Beyond
A Touch From Beyond – Denver, Colorado

Honorable MentionOregon Memorials
Oregon Memorials – Hillsboro, Oregon

First PlaceComfort Cub
Inevitable Exodus – Ottawa, Ontario

Honorable MentionBirdhouse Memorial Urns
Cremation Solutions – Arlington, Vermont

First PlaceOfferings
Funeria LLC – Graton, California

Honorable MentionRemembrances Memory Booth
Assurant – Atlanta, Georgia

Honorable Mention‘Light of Life’ Candle Cremation Urn and Keepsafes
Candle Perfection – Scottsdale, Arizona

First Place – Silk remembrance urn package
Renaissance Urn Company – San Francisco, California

Honorable MentionMaking Everlasting Memories
Making Everlasting Memories – Cincinnati, Ohio

Honorable Mention“The ABCs of Building and Marketing a Columbarium Wall”
Integrity Burial Boxes – Roanoke, Virginia

First PlaceMoving Lives Remembrance documentaries
Celebritas! – Mill Creek, Washington

Honorable MentionStorybook Collection engraved bronze memorials
Trigard – Danville, Illinois

Honorable MentionCustomized Memorial Programs and Tributes
Zachary Douglass LLC – Orem, Utah

Pet Category – Most personalized service or memorial winners

An outstanding example of a personalized funeral for a particular pet, or a very personalized memorial.

2019

First Place

Honoring Mooresville Police K9 Division

Pet Pilgrimage Crematory And Memorials – Mooresville, North Carolina

For their 8th Annual Pet Life Celebration, Pet Pilgrimage Crematory and Memorials honored Mooresville Police Department, their local police department and K9 Division. Every year, the police department participates in Pet Pilgrimage’s Pet Life Celebration by bringing their K9 partners for the community to get to know. Pet Pilgrimage honored the retired K9s by engraving dog bowls and brought toys for them to play with during their retirement. Also, Pet Pilgrimage played a montage video of the K9s that were lost in the past year. Pet Pilgrimage ended with a presentation of a canvas portrait for each, and all the proceeds from this event were donated to a local charity called Save the Clefts Rescue, a group of volunteers that save and tube feed cleft palate/cleft lip puppies.

Honorable Mention

U.S. Marine Corp Canine Asur’s Story

Heart’s Companion Pet Memorial Center – Reno, Nevada

2018

First Place

“Helping A Community Heal”

Clock Timeless Pets – Muskegon, Michigan

After a fire had broken out at Storms Ahead Kennel, a privately owned and operated training, breeding, and boarding facility located in Nunica, Michigan, Jodi Clock, owner of Clock Funeral Home/Clock Timeless Pets, reached out to the owners to work with them to create and implement a disaster recovery plan. The fire had left dozens of dogs trapped and unable to be rescued. There were four phases to “Helping a Community Heal.” In phase one, Jodi Clock helped the kennel on the recovery and identification of each dog. In phase two, assistance from industry professionals, local colleagues and businesses, were conducted for a community memorial service. In phase three, the memorial service was planned, including each of the animals’ families were given a framed picture of their pet and a package of their remains, with a certificate of passing, rainbow bridge poem and any personal items such as an ID tag. In the fourth and final phase, the memorial service was on April 12 at Clock Funeral Home. Over 100 people attended, including the families impacted, media stations, therapy dogs and grief counselors. There was a reception afterward, that included food and fellowship with therapy dogs and any grief assistance the families may need.

Honorable Mention

Memorial Service For Buddy

Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens For Pets – Kansas City, Missouri

Past Winners

First Place A Hero’s Final Farewell”
Clock Timeless Pets – Muskegon, Michigan

Honorable MentionChad’s Labrador Retriever Photo Urn
Timberland Urns – Eagan, Minnesota

First PlaceK-9 Officer Hardy’s Memorial
Memorial Pet Services, Inc – Middleton, Wisconsin

Honorable MentionRemembering Gracie
Paws To Angels Pet Loss Center & Services – Omaha, Nebraska

First PlaceHonoring The Life And Service Of Pepper
Beyond The Rainbow Pet Hospice & Memorial Center – Fort Worth, Texas

First PlaceCelebration Of Remembrance For Mia, Buddy, Oscar, Teemo, Salty And Molly
Until We Meet Again Pet Memorial Center – North Vancouver, BC

First PlaceThe Whistler Sled Dogs North
Until We Meet Again Pet Memorial Center – Vancouver, BC

First Place and Grand Prize WinnerLoyal And True Pet Cremation Services
Loose Funeral Homes – Anderson, IN

First Place – Beyond The Rainbow Pet Hospice And Memorial Center
Fort Worth, Texas

First Place – Two Hearts Pet Loss Center
Greenwood, Indiana

Honorable Mention – My Bob Rocks
Roseburg, Oregon