Trees, candles give glow to ceremony at McLeod Hospice
FLORENCE, S.C. – Hundreds of people turned out for the 33rd annual “A Light for Someone You Love” tree-lighting ceremony Thursday at McLeod Regional Medical Center.
McLeod Hospice serves patients in Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Chesterfield, Marlboro, Lee, Sumter, Marion, Clarendon and Williamsburg counties.
Benjamin Zeigler, vice chairman of the McLeod Health Board of Trustees, said the staff at McLeod Health helps to make the hospice experience a meaningful time.
“Hospice is, in my opinion, one of the hardest aspects of health care,” Zeigler said. “I want to thank all the doctors, nurses and volunteers that make McLeod’s hospice program what it is.”
Attendees had an opportunity to light candles in memory or honor of loved ones, have fellowship with other friends and family and listen to the the Savannah Grove Baptist Church Gospel Choir.
During the ceremony, the family of the Rev. Charles D. “Pete” Cooper lit the trees after a speech from one of Cooper’s daughters, Lyles Cooper Lyles.
Lyles said Thursday would have been Rev. Cooper’s 74th birthday.
“We are very honored to be here tonight,” Lyles said. “The Hospice House is a great asset for our community. We will always be thankful to the comfort that you brought our family.”
Joan Harrison Pavy presented the “Spirit of Hospice Award” to Dr. Vipul I. Shah for his work with McLeod.
Dr. Allie Brooks said the ceremony is a chance to remember those who have died.
“Thanks to the unselfish leaders and dedicated volunteers, we hold our heads high knowing “that in spite of [losing a loved one] all is well,” Brooks said. “When a child is born, there is a medical team that is ready to assist to an anxiously awaiting family. Likewise, it is just as important to have a medical team that will not only nurture the patient in the medical hospice house, but will also nurture the family as their loved one makes the journey.”
“The Light for Someone You Love” program is sponsored by the McLeod Health Foundation to directly fund items needed for the McLeod Hospice House, to help patients remain comfortable in their homes, provide bereavement care for families being served as well as others in the community and to offer a grief camp for children, Camp Jessie’s Kids.