Community can honor loved ones via Obici ‘Tree of Lights’

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 2, 2002

One of the most anticipated events in Suffolk during the holidays is the &uot;Obici Hospital Tree of Lights&uot; ceremony. This year members of the Auxiliary Volunteers Program are working hard to make it the best lighting ceremony ever.

Hospital spokeswoman Rhonda Bowles said the event will take place at the new hospital and the Auxiliary has invited the entire community to come out for the illumination of the tree.

The festivities begin Thursday at 7 p.m., and along with the lighting ceremony, members of the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Chorus will provide musical entertainment.

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No holiday festivities would be complete without a personal appearance from the idol of every child this time of year, Santa Claus. Santa will join everyone inside the hospital as they enjoy hot cider, punch and cookies.

The &uot;Tree of Lights&uot; program is one of the hospital Auxiliary’s largest fundraisers each year.

This year, the hospital arranged for a special tree to be planted in the formal garden behind the new facility. This particular location is highly visible and most patients will easily see the Christmas tree from their rooms. It will also beautify the area as it’s seen from the hospital’s Courtyard Caf dining area.

Funds from this special project are generated by people who purchase a light that is then placed upon the Christmas tree in memory of loved ones or friends, said Becky Anderson, the vice president of the hospital’s Auxiliary program. She is also the Tree of Lights chairman this year.

&uot;This is a very special way to honor someone who is dear to you,&uot; said Anderson. &uot;An acknowledgement is sent to announce that a light has been purchased in honor of a person or group.&uot;

Bowles said there are two categories for which lights may be purchased. One light is $5 and the second choice is a $100 light in the star at the top of the tree.

For more information, contact any member of the Auxiliary Volunteers or call the Volunteer office at 934-3789. Anyone interested in becoming an Auxiliary Volunteer is also invited to call for more information.