Christmas Wish Tree to Honour Local Community Members

The long-standing Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation Christmas Wish Tree tradition is now underway for its 32nd year.

The campaign provides an opportunity for members of the community to honour the memory of a loved one by making a donation in their name. For each donation, a light will be added to the Christmas Wish Tree in recognition.

Last year the Foundation added a new element to the campaign, honouring four individuals throughout the community who were passionate supporters of the hospital or highly dedicated to making positive change in Chatham-Kent. This year, the Foundation looks to expand on this initiative and will honour nine members of the local community including Brenda Burgess, Helen Coyne, Pauline Holek, Carol Koke, Ed Koke, Audrey Kraemer, Gayle McClintock, Dr. John Roe, and Ron Tack.

“We know the Christmas Wish Tree holds a special place in the hearts of our community”, says Bob Hockney, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation Board Chair. “And it’s becoming even more meaningful as members of our community, who have been so influential, are honoured and recognized in such a special way”.

Each Honouree will be commemorated with a special purple light that will be placed on the tree and lit as part of a special dedication of their legacy during this year’s Tree Lighting Ceremonies taking place at CKHA’s Wallaceburg site on Wednesday December 15th at 6:00pm and at CKHA’s Chatham site on Thursday December 16th at 6:00pm.

With the expanded re-opening measures, guests will once again be welcomed to attend in person for both ceremonies.

“We are so excited to welcome our community back to celebrate our memorial tree lighting ceremonies in person” says Mary Lou Crowley, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation President & CEO. “The essence of the Christmas Wish Tree is really about bringing our community together to celebrate the memory of family members and friends.”

For those who are unable to join in person, they can watch a live broadcast on YourTV Cogeco channel 700 and via Facebook Live through the Foundation’s Facebook page at

“We are so grateful for the chance to partner with YourTV Chatham for another year” adds Crowley. “We had such tremendous feedback from last year’s virtual broadcast, and although we will have in-person guests again this year, this partnership helps us reach part of our community who would otherwise not be able to participate such as those in long-term care facilities, as well as individuals who support the campaign but reside outside of CK”.

This year’s campaign has a fundraising goal of $100,000 with proceeds supporting the purchase of a new patient ventilator for CKHA’s Chatham site and five new vital sign monitors for CKHA’s Wallaceburg site.

“The funds raised from the Christmas Wish Tree each year are truly inspiring, and so important to our hospital” says Lori Marshall, CKHA President & CEO. “The equipment that we are able to purchase through the support of this campaign will have a direct impact on patient care at both sites of CKHA.”

For the second consecutive year, the Christmas Wish Tree campaign is being presented by Karen Ewald, Vice-President and Portfolio Manager at RBC Wealth Management Dominion Securities.