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Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf was named the winner of the 2012 International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s Keeping It Personal Award in Best Practices.

The ICCFA created the KIP Award to recognize outstanding examples of personalization of services or products in death care.

Nominees were judged on achievement in most personalized service or memorial, events and best practices.

The awards are judged by communication and marketing professionals from outside the cemetery and funeral service profession, according to a release from Trinity.

“It is such an honor to receive the KIP Award and to be recognized for our groundbreaking work with Sadie, our bereavement therapy dog. Every year, we look for new ways to involve the community and the families of Trinity Memorial Gardens in events of remembrance, support and community outreach,” Trinity Memorial Gardens Director Gail Manuel said in a news release.

Last year saw many new initiatives by the team at Trinity Memorial Gardens and Friendship Pet Memorial Park, Manuel said.

The biggest announcement, she said, was the addition of Sadie, a bereavement therapy dog who serves as a grief counselor to clients coping with the emotions involved with the loss of a loved one.

In October 2012, Sadie completed the requirements to become one of only a few fully certified bereavement therapy dogs in the nation, Manuel said.

Sadie keeps regular hours at Trinity Memorial Gardens, attends Trinity-sponsored events and participates in community activities. Her favorite activity is working with children, Manuel said.

Trinity Memorial Gardens and Friendship Pet Memorial Park have become more than just a resting place for loved ones; they provide a place to gather together to remember friends, family and pets and to celebrate their lives, the release states.

In April, Manuel, accompanied by Sadie, will attend the ICCFA annual convention and exposition in Tampa, Fla., where they will receive the award.

The cemetery and pet memorial park is on Mattawoman-Beantown Road.