Editorial: Love Lights program honors loved ones, benefits those in our community

From the lighting of the star atop Mt. Rachel to the downtown Dalton Christmas parade, our community has plenty of holiday traditions that generations of residents have cherished throughout the years.

One of our favorites holiday traditions is the Love Lights program, which began in 1982 as a collaboration between the Dalton Daily Citizen and the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation

The Love Lights program has helped memorialize and honor friends and loved ones. When each gift is made, a light is added to the Love Light trees on the campus of Hamilton Medical Center. The names of those honored or remembered, as well as those making the contributions, are listed in the newspaper’s weekend editions in December and early January. The foundation mails an acknowledgement card to recipients being honored or to the family of those being memorialized.

Love Lights support basic life needs for financially challenged patients. All gifts to the foundation are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

The Love Lights tradition continues in its 39th year.

According to the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation: “The Love Lights holiday tradition was begun thanks to the creative planning of two Whitfield Healthcare Foundation board members: Dot Reich and the late Hubert Marsh. Marsh collaborated with Reich to plan a holiday tree lighting ceremony and holiday giving program that would enhance patient care programs at Hamilton Medical Center while offering community members the opportunity to gift lights in honor or in memory of friends and loved ones. To promote the Love Lights program community wide, Reich pitched the idea of a partnership between the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation and the Daily Citizen-News and the newspaper embraced the idea of being involved in an important community-wide fundraiser — and the rest is history.”

Love Lights may be purchased online at HamiltonHealth.com/lovelights, by picking up Love Lights forms at area businesses or by calling the foundation at (706) 272-6128. Look for Love Lights information also in the Dalton Daily Citizen.

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