Lights of Love serve to remember, honor

Dec. 06, 2013 @ 12:55 AM

The star, dove and bell ornaments on the Lights of Love Christmas Tree in the lobby of Central Carolina Hospital sparkle in the white lights and take on a special meaning for those who visit.

The star, dove and bell ornaments recognize those who wish to remember, honor or donate, respectively, for the Central Carolina Hospital Auxiliary’s 29th Annual Lights of Love.      

The Lights of Love Christmas Tree is accompanied by the adjacent Book of Remembrance, with the names of those being remembered and honored, and the Tree of Lights in the Get-A-Way Garden Gazebo outside of the hospital, said Auxiliary President June Gunter.

“Everyone enjoys it tremendously,” she said. “Some people walk over there and will search for the special ornaments. At the Book of Remembrance, people will flip through the pages to see the names.” 

While the Lights of Love is one of the main fundraisers for the group, that is not its primary purpose, she said.

“It had become a way to remember and a way of honoring (people),” Gunter said. “People feel comfort and joy when they see those lights and so it is more of a way for us to allow the community to be able to experience those things.”

All of the nurses, doctors and hospital staff members enjoy the Light of Love throughout the month of December, she said.

Sponsorship is $10 per name, and people can still submit their donation through Dec. 15 to CCH Auxiliary Gift Shop or mail to CCH Auxiliary, 1135 Carthage St., Sanford.

Hugh Pembleton donates each year and said the Lights of Love is a worthwhile event. 

“We’ve given to it each year,” he said. “It’s a small amount but the auxiliary deserves that money. They do a lot of work.”

The fundraising aspect is important, Gunter said, but it was not their main priority with this project.

“It is our main fundraiser to support the different things we do,” she said. “We do a lot of things that is not visible to people within the hospital.”

The Lights of Love event has changed throughout the years and it was originally a Christmas tree made of lights on top of CCH, Gunter said. It has since moved inside, changed ornaments, added the Book of Remembrance and the Tree of Lights in the gazebo.

All of the names will be placed in an advertisement in The Herald and on the Auxiliary’s website,