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Gifts of Light to light up hospital

By: Dave Baxter

Posted: 12/1/2018 11:15 AM

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A holiday fundraiser will see the hospital grounds in Steinbach lit up for Christmas, while also raising money to support health care services in the area.

The annual Gifts of Light campaign asks individuals and businesses to donate money to the Bethesda Foundation to sponsor a tree in their name, and all sponsored trees will be lit up for Christmas at a ceremony at the Bethesda hospital grounds this Sunday.

Bethesda Foundation executive director Linda Peters said the idea to light up the hospital grounds started as a way to bring some Christmas joy to those who were spending the holiday season in hospital, but later evolved into a fundraiser.

"Anyone staying at the hospital at this time of year knows it’s not a fun time of year to be there," Peters said. "They decided to light up the hospital grounds to send a message of hope and healing during the holiday season."

The Gifts of Light campaign fundraiser now brings in more than $50,000 in donations per year, according to Peters, and money raised over the years has been used to support local health care projects such as the CancerCare Centre, Bethesda Primary Care Centre and the local crisis stabilization unit.

Peters said the tree lighting ceremony on Sunday will kick off at 4 p.m. with free food and hot chocolate, entertainment and horse-drawn wagon rides.

Former Steinbach mayor Chris Goertzen will serve as the honorary tree lighter at this year’s event.

The trees will be officially lit up at 5:30 p.m. and then a fireworks show will follow, with the event wrapping up at 6 p.m.

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