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Love Light celebrates 34 years of donations

Annual tree lighting ceremony a way to honor memory of loved ones

POSTED: November 29, 2013 11:06 p.m.

Northeast Georgia Medical Center will hold its 34th annual Love Light Tree Lighting Celebration at 7 p.m. Monday.

The event, presented by The Medical Center Auxiliary, is a celebration of all of the donations made during the year to support Hospice of NGMC through the Love Light program.

“It is a time for community members to come together to remember and honor those they have made donations in the name of,” said Lynne Allen, director of volunteer services for the medical center.

The celebration will take place in the Auxiliary Love Light Garden located at the north entrance of the medical center at 743 Spring St. in Gainesville. It is free and open to the public.

Each ornament on the tree represents a donation made in the memory of a loved one who has passed away. Basic ornaments are $10, while donations of more than $100 receive ones in the shape of stars and those more than $500 receive ones in the shape of angels.

All of the proceeds from donations go to hospice services and directly benefit patients. The hospice program provides in-home care to more than 1000 terminally ill patients annually across 13 counties in Northeast Georgia.

“We are blessed to have the services of Hospice of NGMC available in our community, allowing terminally ill patients to remain in their homes with their families and loved ones,” said LeeAnn LoCicero, who, along with her husband Richard LoCicero, serves as chair of Love Light.

“The funds raised through Love Light donations have a major impact on the services provided to hospice patients and their family members throughout Northeast Georgia, and the needs that are met by Love Light donations would not happen without these gifts.”

The funds help support terminally ill patient by providing basic needs or a caregiver while family members are at work. They also support bereavement camps to help people cope with the loss of family members, and grief counseling programs in area schools, Allen said.

In addition to the lighting of the tree, the celebration will feature a number of performances by Enota Elementary School’s show choir, North Hall Middle School’s eighth-grade chorus, Flowery Branch High School’s advanced mixed ensemble and soloist Heather Farr.

The organization will also announce the winner of the children’s ornament-decorating contest. More than 200 local kids submitted homemade Christmas tree ornaments for the contest.

Love Light was started in 1980 by Anne Thomas, a lifetime member of the auxiliary, to help fund renovations for the newborn nursery in the medical center. Over the years. it benefited a variety of organizations within Northeast Georgia Health Systems until 1995, when it began aiding hospice solely. Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $2 million, of which $1.6 million went to hospice services.

“It is really important for the community to know that the auxiliary and the hospice program is very grateful for these gifts,” Allen said. “It is a gift that continues to give long after the holidays have passed.”

Donations can be made to Love Light at www.nghs.com/love-light, or by calling the medical auxiliary at 770-219-1830.


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