Editorial: Love Lights Tree lighting kicks off hospital's holiday giving season

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around town as decorations and trees are being dragged out of the attic to be put on display. Helping add to that festive feel is the 37th annual Love Lights Tree lighting, which is Thursday night at 6 in the Peeples Cancer Institute plaza on Memorial Drive on the Hamilton Medical Center campus. The public is invited.

The Love Lights Tree lighting kicks off the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation's holiday giving program. Since 1982, the Love Lights program has helped memorialize and honor friends and loved ones. When each gift is made, a light is added. The names of those honored or remembered, as well as those making the contributions, are listed in the Daily Citizen-News' Sunday editions in December.

All Love Lights proceeds are earmarked for patients and families in need of financial help in Hamilton's Home Health and Hospice programs, as well as patients who will be served by the Peeples Cancer Institute. These are two very worthy causes.

At the event Thursday night, three local choirs will sing holiday music: the Anna Shaw Children’s choir, directed by music therapist Laura Ogas; the Park Creek Elementary School Chorus, directed by Wendy Norfleet; and the Brookwood School Chorus, directed by Heidi Curtis. To add to the festive feel, attendees will be served cookies and hot cocoa. To top it all off, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will also be on hand.

Love Lights can be bought at HamiltonHealth.com/lovelights, by picking up Love Lights forms at area businesses or by calling the foundation at (706) 272-6128. In 2018, 631 Love Lights were purchased and the foundation was able to provide 245 services for patients and their families.

"Love Lights are truly the gift that keeps on giving," Jane Snipes, foundation executive director, said in this newspaper earlier this month. "What better way to shine light in our community than by purchasing Love Lights for friends, neighbors and co-workers or in memory of a cherished family member or friend who has passed? To know that these gifts help patients and families in need while honoring our own loved ones makes these gifts even more meaningful."

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