Ceremony to celebrate 25th year in Mt. Pleasant
The lighting of the Memory Tree at Excela Health Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant has always been a tradition of remembrance and honor since the annual event's inaugural year in 1987.
This year, the event designed to give people the chance to celebrate the memories of loved ones lost will take on even more significance when its sponsor — the Frick Hospital Foundation — celebrates the event's silver anniversary.
The 25th annual lighting of the tree will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the main lobby of Excela Health Frick Hospital.
“Frick Hospital Foundation has been sponsoring the Memory Tree since becoming a part of the Westmoreland/Frick Hospital Foundation,” said Carole Blair, a member of the Memory Tree committee. “We do our best to strengthen ties between our hospital and the communities we serve by offering a venue which culminates in a touching memorial service.”
The event has grown in participation and interest over the years as it helps to foster bonds between the Church Street facility and the surrounding locale, Blair said.
“Much the reason we continue this event is to build on relationships that have grown over the years,” Blair said. “We are so pleased to welcome our guests as families gather and strangers become friends. Sometimes we don't see each other except from year-to-year, but the relationships remain.”
Those who take part are asked to make a minimum $10 donation with all proceeds going to both Excela HealthFrick and Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg to provide Automated External Defibrillation units in the hospitals and beyond.
In return, the names of the late loved ones they wish to honor are printed on small cards to be hung with a decorative light from the tree.
“Over the years, we've watched folks come in to search for their lights and spend time in contemplation and reverence, and we've shared their joy and their grief,” Blair said.
Blair noted that the event's brochure states the following: “Over the years, hundreds of such lights have adorned our Memory Trees, honoring loved ones or remembering those with us in spirit only.”
“The light-up night is a celebration of life and light ... the holiday season (is) made a bit more meaningful than it might have been without this tangible demonstration of comfort and caring,” Blair said.
The ceremony will include a candlelight procession, speakers and music, Blair said.
It will conclude with the lighting of tree, Blair said.
“This is an event that grows year after year,” said Nancy Albright, another Memory Tree event committee member. “I think that the best part of the event is listening to the people tell us their stories when they come through the door. It's so touching.”
One of the event's founders, the late Beverly Cunningham, will be honored during this year's ceremony.
“Mrs. Cunningham (was) one of the originators of the program many years ago,” Blair said. “We have been in conversation with her family (about) the final plans.”
Everyone from the community is invited to take part in the evening of remembrance and inspiration, officials said.
“This is such a nice community event,” Stan Kapella, another Memory Tree event committee member. “We have all lost loved ones and this event is something that is now personal to all of us.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Main Street Deli & Cafe is coming to Mt. Pleasant
- Mt. Pleasant’s Kropff Jewelers to close at month’s end