The Evergreen Angel

A beautiful way to celebrate loved ones and support hospice

At Mount Evans we believe in angels. We believe in their power to inspire hope, to give comfort, to lift hearts and to bring peace. We often refer to our devoted staff of nurses and clinicians as angels because they exemplify those very qualities. Mount Evans has also been blessed with a host of community angels, dedicated volunteers and supporters whose good works have helped us provide hope, comfort and peace to families all across the mountain area.

No one speaks to our loving purpose more eloquently than “Serenity.”  Clad in flowing silver, her shimmering wings outstretched in welcome, Serenity is this year’s “Evergreen Angel” and the 26th in a beloved procession of beautiful silver pendants that’s become one of the mountain community’s most enduring holiday traditions.

Virginia Haley of Evergreen Fine Art Gallery created the first Evergreen Angel pendant, “Sarah,” in 1993, and she donated a portion of her proceeds to Mount Evans. Sarah’s angelic family grew bigger by one each year, and when the gallery passed into the compassionate hands of longtime Evergreen residents, Barb Hadley and Phil Shanley in 2008, the couple was happy to continue the tradition.

“The Evergreen Angel has always been meant to benefit Mount Evans,” says Phil, an early Mount Evans board member. “When we took on the gallery, it was a given that we would take on the angel.”

Phil Shanley

Evergreen Angels have winged their way around the world marking individual triumphs, supporting personal struggles, celebrating important milestones, remembering loved ones departed, and simply re-connecting loving hearts separated by miles, mountains and even oceans.

“People get them for every occasion you can imagine,” smiles Barb, “and every one of them has a story.”

2019 Evergreen Angel pendant, "Serenity", cast in sterling silver.
2019 “Serenity” Evergreen Angel

Our favorite Evergreen Angel story is one that Barb shared about the angel’s marvelous power to rescue forgetful husbands from the doghouse. Every year, she said, a small number of desperate fellows would neglect their Christmas shopping until well after dark on Dec. 24 and then race to the gallery in an 11th-hour effort to find something suitable for the missus. For the sake of those absentminded gentlemen and their patient wives, Barb would leave a small flock of angels on the gallery’s doorstep each Christmas Eve, inviting empty-handed husbands to redeem themselves now and pay later. While that wonderfully small-town tradition ended when Barb and Phil gave up the gallery, for the better part of 10 years not one grateful husband ever failed to make good on their honor-system Evergreen Angel.

The best traditions endure because when one good soul sets down their happy burden there’s another good soul right behind them who’s happy to pick it up. Beth Riser is the new owner of the Evergreen Gallery on Main Street and the good soul behind the 2018 Evergreen Angel.

“The newest angel for 2019 is designed to be a symbol of peace and tranquility, as her name, Serenity, reflects,” explains Beth.

Beth Riser

A true Colorado native, Serenity was designed from a drawing by local Evergreen artist, Philip Newsom. Janet Martinez, a Crestone, Colorado silversmith, translated Philip’s drawing into a miniature sculpture that is made into pendants by a foundry in Rhode Island, in the old world silversmithing style of Paul Revere.

Cast in sterling silver, Gabrielle can be customized with an opal. Opals are frequently chosen as a meditation gemstone. An opal of any kind is thought to easily assist with a tranquil and calm state of mind, and to reduce stress and uneasiness.

The Evergreen Gallery expects to send along anywhere between 600 and 700 Evergreen Angel pendants and ear rings this year, and a little part of each one will help brighten the holiday season for someone whose light has been dimmed by illness or injury.

Visit to see the entire collection, or stop by the Evergreen Angel office at 3082 Evergreen Parkway, Evergreen, on Fridays and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Call 303-674-4871 for more information.

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2 thoughts on “The Evergreen Angel”

  1. It’s been 25 years since Virginia Haley, then owner of the Evergreen Fine Art gallery, introduced the Evergreen Angel pendant to the world. She created that first Angel, “Sarah,” to honor her grandmother and offer tangible support to Mount Evans Home Health Care Hospice, the mountain area’s only nonprofit provider of hospice care.


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