Santa and Mrs. Claus paid a surprise visit on Thursday night to the Ogeechee Area Hospice (OAH) during their annual Mistletoe & Memories Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Elliott Marsh, OAH board member welecomed the audience and thanked them and the entire community for their support of OAH. Marsh lost both of his parents during COVID just three months apart.
"OAH was my lifeline during this difficult time. To know that I had this level of care available for my parents meant the world to me," said Elliott Marsh. "It is insurmountable the amount of joy and comfort they were able to give me, my sibling, my kids and my family. I can never thank them enough. I also know that they have impacted the lives of each you as well."
Livestream of the Ceremony
The event began with a reception with food provided, prepared and served by OAH volunteers. In addition to Santa and Mrs. Claus there face painting and pet therapy at the 16th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Celebration.
The Southeast Bulloch Advanced Choir and the GS Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia of America Fraternity provided the entertainment for the event.
The tree lighting is a way that OAH memorializes all of those they have served during life's transition. It is a chance for their families to come together remember them for the light they were in so many lives.
"We gather together in this wonderful time of the year to remember the ones that we love and the light they were to this world and the light they still are in our heart," said Trish Tootle, Ogeechee Area Hospice volunteer. "We will never forget them because their lights will always shine brightly. We light this tree in remembrance of your loved ones because there is a light for the one you loved."
Purchase a "light" in memory or honor of a loved one
One of the special parts of this annual tradition is the opportunity to make a $5 contribution to Ogeechee Area Hospice to purchase a "light" on the Christmas tree in memory or to honor a loved one. You can continue to purchase the lights throughout this season by sending a check to Ogeechee Area Hospice, P.O. Box 531, Statesboro, GA 30459. Please put the name of the person you are remembering and who it is given by.
Ogeechee Area Hospice is a tremendous gift from our community to our community.