The Annual Tree of Love lighting ceremony, a way to honor and remember loved ones both living and deceased, was held at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Audrain on December 5.
SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Audrain President Donna Jacobs states that she has been doing the event for 27 years.
“Noteworthy,” the show choir of Mexico High School, has also been performing annually at this event, setting the holiday mood in song, under the direction of Julie Pappas.
This year they performed three songs. The first being,”Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” They also sang,”Coming Home for Christmas” and “Dig That Crazy Santa Claus.”
Bonnie Silvey, the head of Volunteer Services, opened the event this year speaking of the special tree ornaments for purchase to be placed on the tree. She explains that gold star ribbon ornaments are in memory of a deceased loved one, and that silver ornaments are in honor of a loved one still alive.
Hospital Chaplin Chris Cobb then said a prayer of blessing over the trees asking for their lights to shine, brightening these short and winter days.
Silvey then gave a public thank you to Jackie Barnett. Silvey said, “She’s (Barnett’s) been chairing this pretty alone for several years; she does a great job.”
The Christmas Trees were then lit after a countdown.
Those attending there invited for cookies and punch, and to place their ornaments on the “Tree of Love.”
Silvey also then mentioned that SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Audrain will be accepting orders for stars until the end of December.