Spectrum tree lighting raises funds for infant health

Posted by Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:05 am on Tuesday, December 04 2012

Local musical group Joy Bells provided the evening’s entertainment at the 26th annual Spectrum Health United Memorial Tree of Lights ceremony Sunday in Greenville. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

GREENVILLE —  The 26th annual Spectrum Health United Hospital Tree of Lights ceremony took place Sunday and recognized honored memorials with donations to the cause.

The Tree of Lights events raised funds to help the Spectrum’s Maternal Infant Health Program, which assists at-risk pregnant women and infants from birth to age 1.

The event included comments from Spectrum Health United Foundation Chairman Rocky Hansen, Hospital President Tina Freese-Decker and program participant Vanessa McColley.

“This event is near and dear to our hearts,” Hansen said to about 100 people who filled the hospital’s new central waiting area.

Freese-Decker explained the ways the funds would help the program and listed items such as food, gates, diapers, smoke detectors and more that can be purchased with the money. She also wanted to shine light on the Maternal Infant Health Program and its importance to the community.

“To give you a glimpse (of what the program does), I have invited Vanessa McColley to share its impact,” Freese-Decker said.

McColly said she participated in the program, which helped her and her now 1-year-old child. The program helped give her and her child the assistance they needed to have a better life.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped,” McColly said. “I definitely want to thank (the program).”

During the event, about 530 names were read by Carolyn Slocum, Chris Putt, Jeff Loomis, Larry Carbonelli and Rita Huffman, to remember and honor those who had been designated by donors to the tree lighting event.

The names are currently displayed at Spectrum and will remain on display through the holiday season.

“On behalf of the foundation, I thank all of you for being here for this event,” Hansen said. “(We) wish you a happy holiday, much health and joy this holiday season.”

The Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital Tree of Love ceremony will be 6:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at United Church of Christ in Lakeview. Funds raised from this event will go toward purchasing new furniture for the hospital’s acute care waiting and social room.

A tree decorated with lights and ornaments will remain on display in Spectrum’s lobby throughout the holiday season, along with the names of honored loved ones. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

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