Essay contest seeks funniest funeral storiesWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
A local funeral home is trying to inject a bit of levity into a rather sobering business.
As part of its 125th anniversary celebration, Coyle Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Toledo is launching a year-long essay contest asking people to share their most humorous funeral experience.
The idea is to acknowledge the positive contribution of humor in relieving stress and diffusing difficult situations, said Megan Coyle Stamos, president of the family-owned business.
“We wanted to acknowledge and celebrate 125 years of being in business and say thank you to the Toledo community for supporting our family business,” Stamos said. “Admittedly it’s not an exciting place to come. People don’t look forward to coming to a funeral home. We find people tend to joke about things because humor makes the subject of death a little easier to deal with, so we thought this would be a fun, creative and engaging way to invite the community to celebrate with us.”
Each month, a winning essay will be selected for a prize of a $25 gift card and an anniversary T-shirt.
The grand prize, to be chosen from all submissions in December, is a “free funeral” (up to a $5,000 value for services and merchandise) as well as a $50 gift card for dinner, tickets to a movie and chauffeured funeral limousine for an evening of entertainment for the winner and a guest.
“The loss of a loved one is often a very difficult, stressful situation,” stated a news release. “However, humorous moments sometimes occur during grief and the celebration of life. Indeed, humor often can help to relieve stress, while still being respectful, as we remember those we love.”
Stamos said the unusual idea has generated a lot of buzz and there have been a few submissions already. Entries for February must be postmarked by Feb. 28. The first winner will be announced March 10.
Entries, which are limited to 500 words, typically must be postmarked by the 30th of each month to be eligible for the monthly prizes and postmarked by Dec. 30 to be eligible for the grand prize. Monthly essay winners will be notified by the 10th of each month. The grand prize winner will be notified by Jan. 10, 2014.
Contestants must be at least 18 years old. Coyle employees and their immediate family members are not eligible.
Entries can be submitted by email to email@example.com or by mail to Coyle Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 1770 S. Reynolds Road, Toledo, OH 43614. Each essay should include the entrant’s phone number, mailing address and email address.
Winners may be asked to share their stories on TV or radio or allow Coyle to post their stories on its website and Facebook page, Stamos said.
For more information, visit www.coylefuneralhome.com or call (419) 865-1295.