First Place

Stephanie Longmuir and Associates: Valda’s Memorial • 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

Robert Toale & Sons Funeral Home: Sunset Celebration on a Life of Service • 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.