Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation’s (CKHAF) 33rd annual Christmas Wish Tree lighting ceremonies took place on December 14th at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) Wallaceburg site, and on December 15 at the CKHA Chatham site. These ceremonies have become an annual Chatham-Kent holiday tradition over the past three decades.
A large number of community members were in attendance for both of this year’s ceremonies, to witness the Christmas Wish Trees being lit in honour of the loved ones we’ve lost from across our community.
“As a Foundation, we know that this can be a difficult time of year for many who hold the loved ones they’ve lost close in their hearts,” stated Mary Lou Crowley, CKHAF President & CEO. “We take comfort in knowing that, for many in our community, shining a light on the Christmas Wish Tree in memory of those loved ones helps them to feel more connected with friends or family members who have passed on. This is a meaningful symbol of remembrance during a very special time of year.”
For the third consecutive year, this year’s ceremonies recognized the lives and legacies of local healthcare advocates that our community lost in the past year. To recognize their legacies, purple bulbs were illuminated on the Christmas Wish Tree for each Legacy of Giving Honouree. This year’s Honourees were Dr. Angelita Allen, Steve Bilodeau, Rex Crawford, John Meko Sr., Richard (Dick) Pollock, and Ruth Tetrault.
“We are proud to recognize six more Legacy of Giving Honourees this year for the significant impact that they had on our community,” stated Bob Hockney, CKHAF Board Chair. “These individuals were truly leaders within our philanthropic community, and we were delighted to see so many family members of these honourees in attendance at both of this year’s ceremonies.”
In keeping with tradition, this year’s tree lighting ceremonies were held in conjunction with CKHAF’s ongoing 33rd annual Christmas Wish Tree campaign, presented by Karen Ewald, Senior Portfolio Manager and Wealth Advisor at RBC Wealth Management Dominion Securities.
All proceeds from this year’s campaign will support the purchase of new Warming Cabinets for CKHA’s Chatham and Wallaceburg sites. These cabinets will help to spread some warmth to CKHA patients, as they are used to warm linens and blankets to increase patient comfort, prevent hypothermia, and to decrease anxiety in the hospital environment.
Both of the lighting ceremonies can be viewed on YourTV (Cable 700 / Epico 100), who broadcasted the ceremonies live once again this year, or on the CKHA Foundation’s Facebook page.