Hospital gearing up for annual Tree of Lights

BARRY’S BAY – Like elves in Santa’s workshop, a dozen volunteers worked hard on November 21 stuffing envelopes, in preparation for the annual Tree of Lights Campaign.
The campaign is the biggest annual fundraiser for the St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation. It begins with a mail-out of more than 6,500 letters to residents across the Valley.
Like years prior, residents can choose to make a donation in remembrance or in honour of a loved one. It makes a perfect gift for the person that has everything, Foundation Director Toni Lavigne-Conway said.
“I think why this campaign is so meaningful is because it gives us an opportunity to share that goodwill spirit by giving the gift of health and at the same time, remembering or honouring somebody,” she explained.  
Paper bulbs containing the name of the recipient will be hung around the hospital to recognize the donation. 
Proceeds go towards wrapping up the Family Helping Family Campaign. 
“Christmas is all about family, so it’s a nice tie-in,” Lavigne-Conway said.
Volunteers who help with the mail-out dedicate many hours to ensure the donation forms are in proper order. They all have their own reasons why they keep coming back to help out.
Micki Shano, a Combermere resident, has been stuffing campaign envelopes for more than six years. 
“This hospital has saved my life,” Micki Shano said. “So it’s time for payback.”
Shano has a mechanical heart and took a stroke a few years ago. She said she has received quality care at the local hospital. 
Read more in the November 27, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.