Giving while grieving Featured

7:00pm EDT December 26, 2010

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never an easy task, but Aurora Casket Co.’s goal is to provide an honorable closure to every life.

Under the leadership of its owners — President and CEO Bill Backman III, Executive Vice President Chris Barrott and Director of Marketing Jason Barrott — the company offers two main service programs that donate to charitable causes and provides a tangible and lasting memory of the deceased.

Through Aurora’s Sentiments program, the company makes a donation in the name of the deceased to the American Breast Cancer Foundation during funeral arrangements. The money is donated to the foundation’s Key to Life breast cancer screening assistance program, which provides financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured women and men of all ages for breast cancer diagnostic tests, including mammograms, ultrasounds, surgical consultations and biopsies.

Aurora also has a program called Honoring the Veteran, which provides donations to military and aid organizations. When a family chooses a participating casket or urn, Aurora will then make a donation to the American Red Cross, Vietnam Veterans of America or the World War II Memorial Foundation. Aurora has also made contributions to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

These two programs are unique to Aurora and were created as a way for families to leave a lasting legacy for their loved one and make a real difference by allowing families and funeral homes to be a part of the bigger picture.

In addition to these efforts, Aurora created the Positive Choices program, which is designed to educate teens and their parents about making the right decision when it comes to drinking and driving. More than 2,000 teenagers die each year in drunk driving accidents, and Aurora’s owners believe there is nothing more tragic than the death of a child, so they hope the program will make a difference. It has been implemented in high schools all over the nation, and the program also offers scholarships for high school students who pledge to make positive choices.

On top of these programs, Aurora also aims to give back to the children of its employees by offering a college scholarship program. The scholarship is given to a student with a high GPA who is attending an accredited two- or four-year school.

How to reach: Aurora Casket Co., (800) 457-1111 or www.auroracasket.com