Hospital tree begins to fill with love.

December 8, 2015
Kaley Petersen, right, and Rose Jensen show how the number of lights has grown in just the first week of the annual Lights and Love Tree at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. In the second picture they demonstrate their goal of filling the tree with lights honoring and remembering loved ones.

Kaley Petersen, right, and Rose Jensen show how the number of lights has grown in just the first week of the annual Lights and Love Tree at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. In the second picture they demonstrate their goal of filling the tree with lights honoring and remembering loved ones.

LUDINGTON — The Lights and Love holiday tree on the front lawn at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital is beginning to fill with lights, purchased by people through the hospital foundation to honor or remember loved ones. Each donation of $20 adds a light to the tree. The proceeds benefit the hospital’s Family Birthing Center.

The tradition of filling the tree with lights for the holiday season began last year. The foundation staff began placing lights on the 2015 tree last week, and already the number of lights has tripled, to a total of 45 two-inch globe lights as of Monday. Last year’s tree had 145 lights by Christmas Eve.

“Anyone is welcome to purchase lights,” said Kaley Petersen, foundation and volunteer services director. “We are getting a good response from community members as well as our staff. Many are repeat participants from last year.”

“The names of those honored will be listed in the hospital lobby, on our web site, and also rotate on the City of Ludington electronic message sign on the hospital grounds, next to U.S. 10 (Ludington Avenue),” says the foundation’s Rose Jensen. “People appreciate driving by and seeing the names of their loved ones on the sign.”

“The tree will stay lit through January 11, but the donation will last a lifetime,” says Petersen.

The tree this year is permanently planted, rather than cut. Thus, as it grows, it will have room for more and more lights.

Every light has a personal story, Petersen commented. For example, two among the first lights installed this year are in remembrance of longtime nurses Michelle Aberegg and Patricia Peterson, who touched the lives of thousands of moms and newborn babies in The Family Birthing Center.

The obstetrics staff purchased the lights to remember their former coworkers.

To dedicate a light on the Lights and Love Tree, visit the foundation webpage or call 231.845.3633.

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