For the past 20 years, holiday lights on the Lights of Life trees outside Community Hospital in Munster have been illuminated and serve as a reminder of the journey of hope that goes along with a cancer diagnosis. This year, the lights shine on despite the pandemic although changes have been made to the outdoor lighting ceremony. For the health and safety of participants, donors and their honorees will be invited after December 2 to view a virtual tree lighting.
“Participation, in these uncertain times, is more important than ever before to show support for those on a cancer journey so they know that they are not alone,” said Marie D. Macke, administrator, Cancer Care, Community Healthcare System. “It brings us together for a common goal and inspires hope.”
Each brilliant pink and lavender light on the Lights of Life trees represents a donation made to the Community Cancer Research Foundation, Inc. The Foundation supports important cancer research initiatives that improve the community’s access to the latest advances in prevention, detection and treatment of breast and other cancers. The pink trees represent those with breast cancer and the lavender trees symbolize all types of cancer.
Anyone may participate and “purchase” a light for the Lights of Life trees to honor a special person in their life. Each light represents a $5 donation, which may be made to the Community Cancer Research Foundation. For a $15 donation, a pink breast cancer awareness pin, a crystal cancer awareness pin, or a lapel cancer awareness pin can also be sent to honorees along with a gift card in addition to reserving a light. Names must be received before Wednesday, November 25 in order to be guaranteed a listing in the Lights of Life program book.
Much of the online ceremony will be the same as the actual ceremony at Community Hospital’s outpatient entrance in year’s past. Speakers for the virtual event include Community Healthcare System Radiologist Jonathon Lee, MD, and St. Catherine Hospital CEO Leo Correa. Musical performances at the ceremony include a solo by Krystal Kadar Quagliara and pre-recorded selections by the Munster High School Chorale group directed by Luke McGinnis.
The Lights of Life program began in 2000. To date, the Lights of Life program has raised more than $250,000 to bring cancer research programs to people in Northwest Indiana.
Cards and pins will be sent out until Dec. 31. All donations to the program are tax deductible and are used to sponsor local research trials for area patients. For more information on this program, call 219-836-6875. Donations are also accepted online at: myccrf.com.