BARRY’S BAY – Hundreds gathered at the Railway Station in Barry’s Bay on the evening of December 6 to watch the highly anticipated tree lighting ceremony.
For the 12th year in a row, the annual event was hosted by the St. Francis Memorial Hospital (SFMH) Foundation in partnership with the Township of Madawaska Valley.
The ceremony is a way to thank the community for supporting the local hospital in the Tree of Lights campaign, which raises funds for hospital equipment.
The evening started off inside the Railway Station building with treats and balloon creations by Terry Newcombe.
Afterwards, everyone braved the wind chill to watch the tree being lit.
Foundation Director, Toni Lavigne-Conway, welcomed everyone in attendance and brought out a special guest emcee, Santa Claus.
Jeanette Tubby and her father Dave from Golden Lake provided musical entertainment throughout the ceremony. Jeanette is a graduate of Madawaska Valley District High School and attended post-secondary musical studies in Saskatchewan.
Lavigne-Conway said all proceeds from the campaign will go towards the Family Helping Family Campaign, in an attempt to raise 1.2 million for hospital equipment.
“All donations throughout the year and especially at Christmas help our care staff have the equipment they need to help our patients and families when they need it most,” she said.
To date, the annual Christmas campaign has raised over $290,000 for the local hospital.
When someone donates to the campaign, their name or the recipients name is written on a paper bulb and placed throughout the hospital.
Read more in the December 11, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.