What has become a traditional part of the holiday season in Three Rivers continued Saturday evening (December 8) with the 22nd annual ‘Lights of Love’ Tree Lighting Ceremony at Three Rivers Health.
Lights of Love is a fundraising project conducted by the Three Rivers Health Auxiliary. For each donation of at least $3 given to the Lights of Love fund drive, a symbolic light is placed on trees at the hospital with proceeds from the project used to purchase equipment for Three Rivers Health.
Larry Clark, chairman of the Three Rivers Health Authority Board, welcomed those on hand for the ceremony and said, “2012 has been a very busy year for Three Rivers Health.” He noted that a new vision statement and mission statement were rolled out recently to all Three Rivers Health employees and said they are “being supported by standards of excellence in five categories and a new employee recognition plan.” And he reported that these will be rolled out to the public in January.
Clark thanked the Auxiliary for their many hours of service during the year, expressed appreciation to the Lights of Love for another generous donation, and also thanked Diane Reece for her years of commitment to the project. (Larry Clark audio clip – 1:05)
Reece, who is retiring from chairing the Lights of Love Committee after 16 years, said, “It’s time for me to step down and for somebody else to take the reins.” She and her late husband, Ron, led the project for ten years and she continued for six years after his death. (Diane Reece audio clip – :45)
Reece introduced and thanked the Lights of Love Committee and said, “It is the good work of the committee that has made my job so easy.” She recognized three persons who are retiring from the committee – Bette Gave and Pat and Glenn Dane.
Leo Chugunov, laboratory manager at Three Rivers Health, briefly described the new equipment that was acquired as a result of the Auxiliary donation – equipment that was wheeled into the room and displayed: a Fisher scientific microscope, a table-top centrifuge, a draw chair (extra-wide and tall to accommodate patients with limited mobility), and updated statistical software.
Susan Brown, manager of the hospital’s inpatient rehab unit, also spoke about the ‘recumbent stepper’ purchased by the Auxiliary.
A highlight of the program was special music by seven members of The Silver Triad Flute Club.
In closing remarks, Bill Russell, CEO of Three Rivers Health, expressed appreciation to those in attendance and to “all the donors” who supported this year’s Lights of Love campaign. He noted the 501(c)(3) recognition from the Internal Revenue Service reported this week that clears the way for the transition of hospital ownership from the Three Rivers Health Authority to a new, community-owned non-profit corporation in the first part of 2013. And he also mentioned the new mission statement, vision statement and strategy noted by Clark in his welcoming remarks.
Regarding 2013, Russell said, “I’m looking forward to next year. I’m excited about the future of Three Rivers Health. We have a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but our future is bright and we’re all, I think, very excited about that.” (Bill Russell audio clip – 3:15)
Russell presented a gift to Reece to recognize her years of Lights of Love leadership and announced that Gary and Karen Armstrong will succeed Reece as co-chairs of the project in the coming year. They, too, presented a gift to Reece with Gary Armstrong saying, “Diane, on behalf of the committee, we want to thank you very much for your passion and your dedication to the long service and to your partner, Ron.” Reece thanked them and said, “I wish Gary and Karen good luck in taking over the chairmanship of the committee. I know it will continue to be successful.”
Refreshments were served following the ceremony.
To view the printed program for the Lights of Love Tree Lighting Ceremony, click here.