Those children left behind learn to grow

WHILE Mother's Day is a celebration for most, it remains a painful reminder of loss for those without a mum. 

When Woodend's Angela Van Dam lost her mum to cancer in 2008, she faced a life without her guidance. 

But in 2011 - the year she became a mum herself - Mrs Van Dam found a way to celebrate Mother's Day through Trees for Mum.

It is a series of free national Landcare events inviting people of all ages to celebrate their mums, by planting trees in their honour.

Trees for Mum was first started in 2002 by friends Deena Raphael and Lauren Adlam, as a way of paying tribute to their mums, who both passed away from cancer. 

Mrs Van Dam and her husband Jason read about Trees for Mum in the local paper and found solace in its message. 

Now, the Woodend couple organises an event to help others in central Victoria. 

“My mum was a passionate gardener and lover of nature," she said. 

“Mother’s Day 2011 became a very special day for us as our daughter was born just a few weeks later.

"Trees for Mum has become a community; everyone has their own very special story."

The Woodend event is now in its third year and attracts about 150 people.

Fellow mum Kristy Woodhouse said her family celebrated the day by running in the Mother’s Day Classic and planting trees.

“In 2012 I celebrated my first mother’s day as a new mum and planted with my mum in memory of my grandmother," she said. 

The free event will be held on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 11 from 9.30am to midday at the Rotary Community Exercise Track, Woodend. 

Participants are asked to bring gardening gloves and sturdy shoes. Planting equipment will be provided on the day.

To reserve a tree contact Angela Van Dam via or on 0409 373 010.

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