Tree of lights raises funds for big equipment, miniature horses raise spirits of crowd on hand to celebrate


Barry’s Bay — Cheryl Reid, chair of the St. Francis Valley Health Care Foundation kicked off the Tree of Lights event held Dec 1 at the Railway Station in Barry’s Bay. The evening included time with Santa, a chance to get up close to pet some miniature horses and the opportunity to hear some Christmas carols performed live by the hospital choir who lent their voices to the celebration. It was also a chance to thank donors and encourage new donors to support the local hospital.

Reid said, “Tonight, we gather together as a community to light our very special tree that will soon shine brightly in remembrance of those that once brightened our lives and touched our hearts. We also gather in gratitude as we extend our appreciation to our donors who give generously not only at Christmas time but throughout the year. Your commitment to local health care to ensure that our wonderful caregivers have the equipment and tools they need to care for us all is very much appreciated.”

After Reid’s introductory comments, Kevin Quade, chair of the St. Francis Memorial Hospital Board of Directors took to the podium to thank donors and remind them why their contributions are so important. Quade asked attendees, “How many of you in attendance today have been touched by the hospital in some way? Perhaps you’ve visited emerge with your child, or maybe you came in for some important medical tests.” Quade added, “Without St. Francis and its staff, we would have to trave to outside communities for our healthcare needs. That’s why fundraising indicatives like the Tree of Lights Campaign are so important as it enables the hospital to purchase critical equipment to care for patients when it is needed most.”

Erin Gienow, executive director of the St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation also had many people to thank for their contributions in bringing together the Tree of Lights Campaign. Gienow said, “We would like to recognize the Township of Madawaska Valley and staff for arranging the tree and sponsoring tonight’s event. Thank you also goes out to Madawaska Coffee for supplying the hot beverages to keep us toasty warm, and to the dietary department of St. Francis Memorial Hospital for baking the delicious cookies.”

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