You’re invited to the Tree Lighting Ceremony!
Submitted by St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation
Busy hands folded, sorted and stamped thousands of letters in preparation of a very special campaign. At St. Francis Memorial Hospital, volunteers spent a day preparing letters and envelopes for the St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation’s annual Tree of Lights Campaign. This mail-out is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Foundation.The letter profiles Sharon Florent of Madawaska, who shared her journey with cancer and why she is grateful to have access to important scans close to home. Above: A group of elves worked tirelessly to fold, sort and prepare thousands of letters for the St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation (SFVHF)’s Tree of Lights Campaign. Pictured from left: (Standing) Maxine Smaglinskie, Marie Tate, Bev Burchat, Pauline Burchat, Vicky Wainwright, Caroline Mallany, Arlene Kubesheskie and SFVHF Communications and Fundraising Officer Christine Hudder. (Seated) Donna Burchat, Sharon Florent (who is featured in the Tree of Lights Campaign letter) and Sue McAllister. All photos submitted.
The 2023 Tree of Lights Campaign hopes to raise money for the hospital, to purchase a new mammography unit, which comes with a hefty price tag of $400,000.
Hosting a work bee not only allows volunteers to come together and share in the spirit of the holidays, it also helps reduce costs for the Foundation.
Foundation Executive Director Erin Gienow said that while many charities use the services of a mail house to assist with the distribution of letters, the Foundation relies on the kind contributions of many volunteers.
“The mail-out is a huge undertaking and the help of volunteers is extremely important,” remarked Gienow. “The selfless time and energy that they provide to us on this day minimizes our overall costs and ensures a very efficient campaign.”
The Christmas Campaign is a special one because people can purchase bulbs to help light the tree in memory, honour or appreciation of someone special. The person’s name is written on a bulb card along with a message and is displayed at the hospital. A popular idea is to purchase a bulb as a gift for a loved one and the Foundation will send the recipient a certificate acknowledging the gift.
In addition to the mail-out, the Foundation will be hosting the Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Railway Station in Barry’s Bay on Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. The community is invited to the ceremony which will include the musical talents of the Hospital Choir, treats and refreshments, and Santa’s very own petting zoo.
Each donation made to the Foundation represents one of the bulbs lit on the outdoor Christmas tree.
“This holiday season, we will depend on the Hospital to be there for us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready with critical equipment, like the ultrasound machine, to ensure we get the care that we need,” Gienow explained. “That is why we hope that everyone will consider supporting our Christmas campaign with a kind gift to ensure that the Hospital can do just that.”
Giving is easy. Donations can be made in the following ways:
- Fill out the donation card that comes in the mail and send it in or drop it off at the Foundation Office;
- Drop off at the Bank of Montreal or Northern Credit Union in Barry’s Bay;
- Give the Foundation a call at 613-756-3045 ext. 217; or,
- Donate online at www.sfvhfoundation.com.