The Thompson Health Guild's annual event raises money to help buy equipment

CANANDAIGUA — The Thompson Health Guild’s annual Tree of Lights event took place Dec. 4, with members of the community gathering to remember and honor loved ones represented by lights on the large tree just outside the main entrance to Thompson Hospital.

Thompson Health President/CEO Michael F. Stapleton Jr. commented on the tradition of this event and what it means to remember friends and family.

Krista Jackson, vice president of Thompson Health Guild and chairwoman for the event, thanked the many people who made donations when designating lights. Thompson Health Chaplain Elizabeth Heffernan then said a prayer before many of the close to 200 people in attendance went inside the adjacent M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center for a reception.

Under the direction of Emily Phillips, approximately 30 members of the Canandaigua Elementary School fifth-grade chorus sang holiday songs during the reception while Thompson Bear and Santa and Mrs. Claus helped to round out the evening’s festivities.

In all, Jackson said, more than 500 people were recognized through the Tree of Lights this year, either in memory or in honor. Their names were added to the event’s commemorative book.

Through the donations made in memory or in honor of those individuals, the Tree of Lights raised more than $5,700 this year, according to Jackson, who said the guild will use these funds to fulfill its mission of helping Thompson Health purchase needed equipment throughout the year. She noted that the volunteer organization is grateful to all those who contributed, including Wegmans, Admar and Wendy’s of Canandaigua.