Hospital kicks off holiday season with Lights of Love

(Posted Nov. 19, 2019)

By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer

Madison Health’s annual Lights of Love ceremony and Season Spectacular took place on Nov. 14 in the hospital’s new main entrance lobby and concourse. For Lights of Love, the hospital invites the public to purchase living trees, twinkling lights on the hospital’s signature tree, or pillar candles in honor or in memory of loved ones. The display remains lit through Jan. 1. This marks the 30th year for Lights of Love. The Season Spectacular, which includes appearances by Santa and other fun characters, trolley rides, and children’s activities, is a more recent addition to the hospital’s holiday festivities. The events are co-hosted by the hospital’s Auxiliary and Foundation.

Madison Health Auxiliary President Marcus Freed opens the hospital’s annual Lights of Love ceremony. “As we drive past the hospital and see the glow of these lights, we are reminded of the individuals we are remembering or celebrating today and how they light up our lives,” Freed said.
A “Despicable Me” minion and Rudolph posed for pictures in the lobby, on the concourse and outside by the Christmas trolley. The characters were a hit with children who attended the event, including: (from left) Amelia Tipton, 3, Mischa Tipton, 7, Scotland Tipton, 5, and Evelyn Tipton, 6, of London. The Tiptons were excited about the ornately decorated sugar cookies, visiting with Santa, and the take-home ornament craft kits Santa’s helpers handed out.
Austyn Johnson, 6, of London shares his Christmas wish list with Santa.
Julie Akers (right), Madison Health marketing coordinator, worked as Santa’s Helper, handing out Christmas candy, “I Met Santa” stickers, and “Nice List” certificates on which she wrote each child’s name. When Austyn Johnson (left), 6, received his certificate, he grinned and called out to his mother who was taking his picture, “I got on the nice list!”
The Lights of Love Christmas tree stands in the new main entrance lobby at Madison Health, with pillar candles lined up on the window ledges behind it and along the window ledges in the concourse. Placards in front of the candles bear the names of people the candles honor and the names of the families who purchased the candles. The opportunity to purchase signs for the outdoor evergreen trees has ended, as they have sold out. Candles are still available for purchase.
A new group, The London Brass, plays seasonal tunes at Madison Health’s Season Spectacular which took place in conjunction with the hospital’s annual Lights of Love celebration. The group formed three weeks ago and offered its talents to help with the celebration.
Families waited outside Madison Health’s main entrance for a Christmas trolley ride. The trolley provided free rides from the hospital on North Main Street to Dwyer Bros. Hardware on South Main Street, then to Center Street, South Oak Street and Fourth Street before returning to the hospital.
Choir director Katie Bates leads the London Elementary School choir in singing seasonal favorites during the opening ceremony of the Lights of Love and Season Spectacular at Madison Health.
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