Santa Paula Times

Light Up a Life: 23rd Annual Hospice event remembers, honors loved ones

December 11, 2013
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

Those who give make it possible for others to receive was the message at the 23rd Annual Light Up a Life, where each donation helped to light the towering tree overseeing East Main Street.

And each light was illuminated on behalf of the nonprofit Santa Clara Valley Hospice/Home Support Group, which in turn offers an array of always-free services.

Light Up a Life Chairperson Kathy Kemp told guests at the November 30 lighting ceremony that the needs of clients and their families are met, “Because of you and your donations, all Hospice services are free.” 

Kemp noted that the organization delivers flowers to shut-ins and transportation to medical appointments, has regular bereavement counseling, provides funeral assistance and even loans out sickroom equipment, among other services and programs. 

Each light on the tree, located in front of United Water Conservation District headquarters at the corner of East Main and North 8th streets, memorializes lost loved ones and recognizes those still held close. Each year members of the Optimist Club string the lights on the tree, which will shine throughout the holiday season.

Board President Rachel Bustillos said the evening not only benefits Hospice but also provides the opportunity, “To take a few minutes to remember our loved ones today and everyday.... “

Kemp noted that longtime former Hospice Board President Cathy Barringer was in attendance who had asked that the annual event again include the singing of holiday carols. Allen Bledsoe performed on the keyboard and sang for the audience.

After Kemp gave the invocation she noted that the list of names of those being remembered or honored would be read first, followed by the lighting of the tree.

Once the hundreds of names were read by Hospice supporters the countdown ended with the tree lighting and the evening ended traditionally with the singing of “Silent Night.”

Lights are only $10 each per remembrance or recognition and can still be purchased at the Hospice Office, 133 N. Mill St., or by a check sent to SVCHHSG, P.O. Box 365, Santa Paula, CA 93061. Be sure to include the name of the person(s) you are purchasing the light for.

The names of all those remembered and honored are published in the Santa Paula Times.