Wish Tree tradition lights up again in support of Urology services

Members of the community assemble for the annual Christmas Wish Tree lighting ceremony on December 16, 2019 at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Wallaceburg Site. (Submitted photo)

There won’t be any in-person ceremonies for this year’s Christmas Wish Tree campaign supporting the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s Urology program, but organizers are still keeping up the tradition from a safe distance.

Campaign organizers said for the first time in the campaign’s 30-year history, they’ll be hosting a live video broadcast of both tree lighting ceremonies — one at the hospital in Chatham and another at the Wallaceburg campus.

The ceremony will be shown on YourTV Chatham-Kent and the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation’s Facebook page at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 in Wallaceburg and at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 17, 2020 in Chatham.

“Although our holiday festivities may look a bit different this year due to COVID-19, it was important for us to ensure this long-standing tradition in Chatham-Kent continued no matter what,” said Greg Hetherington, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation Board Chair. “We’ll be making some changes to our tree lighting ceremonies, but the way in which our community can honour their loved ones will be the same.”

One light will be added to the Christmas Wish Trees for each donation that comes in for the campaign and the donor will also be able to have their loved one’s name published in local newspapers.

In addition to “tremendous support” from local businesses, a release from the CKHA Foundation also notes that two retired local business owners — Bob and Robin Hockney — have offered to match every donation received until November 30, dollar for dollar, up to a maximum of $25,000.

“With Bob and Robin’s incredible support, we will able to double the impact that each donation is making on local health care, which is truly heartwarming,” said CKHA Foundation President and CEO Mary Lou Crowley.

All of the proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the purchase of a new Bladder Scanner for the CKHA’s Wallaceburg Site and a new Urodynamics Machine for the CKHA’s Chatham Site.

CKHA Foundation officials said those two pieces of equipment are needed to help complete the hospital’s Urology unit.