The Winchester District Memorial Hospital Wish Tree has been officially lit, and the Hospital Foundation hopes that the spirit of giving in the community will be strong this holiday season.
Last year gifts totalling over $49,000 were given in support of high priority needs at the hospital. To date, more than $30,000 has already been donated, with a deadline of December 31 about two weeks away.
This year, 23 students from Morrisburg Public School attended the official Wish Tree lighting ceremony on Tuesday, December 11, in the main lobby of the hospital.
Two MPS students, Cameryn Broad and Kristyn VanHoof, were given the honour, with Troy Cross, executive director of the WDMH Foundation, of throwing the switch to light the tree.
The Morrisburg students, with teacher Sarah Barclay-Thomas, had earlier delivered close to 400 hand made Christmas cards to the hospital, intended for patients who might have to spend Christmas in hospital care.
“We also brought Christmas jingle bells, paper snowflakes, Christmas ornaments and special art work with us,” teacher Barclay-Thomas said. “Morrisburg Public School does not have a large population, so many of our students, from kindergarten to grade six, created more than one special card. We wanted to be sure that every patient was remembered. We look forward to coming to Winchester at this time of year, to sing, visit patients and present our cards to them.”
Accompanied by Joanne Sidorchuk, manager CCCU Rehab and Diagnostics, the students visited several floors of the hospital before the tree lighting ceremony. One of the highlights of their visit was the ability to deliver “welcome to the world” cards, especially designed for babies, to day old Kaley Kelly and her parents, Corinne and Chris.
Then the students joined hospital officials and guests in the lobby, where the Village Voyces choir performed songs of the season.
“This Wish Tree is a symbol of the light our loved ones and caregivers have brought into our lives,” said Troy Cross. “Many, many people have touched our lives and this Tree represents them.
Everyone recognized on this tree has given a gift to the hospital, recognizing a loved one who has passed, a friend or a member of our staff. The gifts we receive at this time serve our hospital not just in this season but also onward.
And it is a real pleasure to see Morrisburg Public School students with us, touring our hospital to sing and give cards to our patients.”
This year, several hundred generous donors have given their support to the Wish Tree campaign. In the past, Scotiabank (whose seven branches support the campaign), was the sole matching partner of the Wish Tree program. This year Scotiabank will be joined by new sponsors Dan R Equipment, MacEwen Petroleum, Riveredge Farms and Russell Meadows Retirement Community.