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Light-Up Night tradition grows at Monongahela Valley Hospital

| Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Monongahela Valley Hospital campus will again be set aglow with twinkling lights at its 29th annual Light-Up Night on Nov. 25.

More than 1,000 people, along with Santa and Mrs. Claus, attended the event last year, hospital communications specialist Mary Kaufman said.

“It's really become a community tradition,” Kaufman said. “This really feels like the spirit of Christmas to me.”

Hospital staff invite the community to the campus to kick off the holiday season with the celebration featuring carols, hot chocolate and giveaways.

“It's just a really exciting community party for the holidays,” she said. “We really enjoy doing it for the community.”

Lights adorn the hospital's fountain, a two-story Christmas tree and walkways, Kaufman said. Other decorations include angels, snowmen and nutcracker sentries.

She lauded the work of the hospital's maintenance crew who set up the event.

Because of the “family-fun” event's long history, people who attended the event years ago are now coming back and bringing their children along, she said.

Two children, selected in a drawing, will flip a giant light switch to illuminate the holiday decorations.

Children can pose for photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The event will feature singers from Ringgold High School who will lead carols. An ensemble from the Monessen High School Marching Band will lead Santa's sleigh.

“This is one of my favorite events of the year, and I'm so proud to invite our friends and neighbors in the Valley to celebrate with us,” Louis J. Panza Jr., hospital president and CEO, said in a news release. “The giant light switch that our maintenance staff created has been a great addition to the evening, making it even more magical, especially for the kids.”

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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