The Herald Bulletin

December 4, 2012

Christmas tree lights reminder of fight against cancer

Ceremony raises funds for American Cancer Society

By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — The lights sparkling on the trees at Anderson’s Citizens Park Plaza are more than a shiny reminder of the impending holiday season. Those lights all gleam in honor or memory of someone who has battled cancer.

“Love Lights a Tree is a way to recognize a special person as well as do something positive in the fight against cancer,” said Nancy Hunt, an American Cancer Society volunteer who is helping to coordinate the event.

The tree lighting ceremony will be at 5 p.m. Friday during Anderson’s Winterfest when the names of those honored will be read. All the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to Madison County’s American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Locally the American Cancer Society has several programs to support residents like the “Look Good, Feel Better” that helps those who have appearance alters, such as hair loss and skin changes, through cancer treatment. There are programs that provide rides to patients to and from treatment and to doctor appointments.

Nationally, the American Cancer Society is the largest non-governmental funder of cancer research in the U.S., spending about $130 million each year to work to find cures, according to the organization. American Cancer Society funds both external research projects through grants and scholarships as well as conducting its own research into cancer epidemiology, surveillance and health policy.

“The holiday season is a time filled with lights, memories and renewed hope,” Hunt said. “In the spirit of this season, the American Cancer Society sponsors this event. So as you drive by the tree and see all the lights you can remember those special people that are fighting the battle now or people we lost.”

A tree can be sponsored for $500, a star $100, gold lights $50, red lights $25, green lights $10 and white lights $5. Currently Saint John’s Medical Center has sponsored a tree.

ACS community representative Laura Market said the ceremony is a great way to honor or remember loved ones, allowing passers-by to see the lighted trees anytime throughout the month.

“This is a great thing for the community and we are happy to be a part of it,” Market said.

The deadline for purchasing a light, star or tree is by noon Friday so the name can be included in the ceremony, something Hunt said is touching and memorable.

“May this year’s holiday glow with love that lights a tree,” she said.

Find Abbey Doyle on Facebook and @heraldbulletin on Twitter, or call 640-4805.