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Excela Frick to light memory tree on Dec. 6 |

Excela Frick to light memory tree on Dec. 6

| Saturday, November 19, 2011 12:00 a.m

For more than 20 years, a memory tree has been lit at Excela Frick.

The memory tree is located in the hospital lobby every year. A tag with a loved ones name on it — in memory of or in honor of — can be placed on the tree for a $10 or more donation.

“It’s always a nice event and a special way to remember a loved one at Christmas,” said Carole Blair, Excela Health Foundation Advancement coordinator.

Beginning in 1988, the holiday tradition was originally held outside on the grounds of the facility but after several years of wintry weather, the ceremony was moved indoors.

Since its inception, the program has raised more than $100,000. This year, money raised from the event will go to the purchase of new automated external defibrillators.

“We’ve purchased 100 in the past year,” Blair said. “These are all brand new, state-of-the-art AEDs. We passed out 100 this past year but we always need more.”

Blair said that the ceremony has become a tradition.

“I receive forms in the mail and I recognize the handwriting on them,” Blair said. “I may not know what people look like, but I know their handwriting.”

Virginia Black, Frick food service supervisor, said the ceremony is important to many people.

“I think it’s become a tradition now for many families in the area,” Black said.

Names of those being honored on the memory tree returned to event organizers by Nov. 28 will be included in the program that will be distributed on light-up night, set for Dec. 6.

“Nov. 28 is the cut off for programs, but everyone’s name will be included on a tag that will be on the tree,” Blair said.

The ceremony will include the lighting of the tree, a few speakers and several musical selections. Children who are family members of employees will take part in a procession to the tree when it will then be lit.

“It’s a lovely event,” Blair said.

The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.

Memory tree forms can be picked up in the lobby of the Excela Frick.

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