Hospice of Michigan offers chance to Light up a Life

For the past 25 years, Hospice of Michigan has offered the public a chance to Light up a Life.

By making a donation in memory or honor of a loved one, participants “purchase” a light on the city of Alpena’s stately Christmas tree in Culligan Plaza. This seasonal campaign to remember and honor loved ones culminates the day after Thanksgiving when the tree officially lights up following the Bolenz Jewelry Holiday Parade through the downtown.

“It’s very exciting that this is the 25th year,” said Brenda Herman, philanthropy manager for Hospice of Michigan in Alpena. “We’re making a few changes, including having a memory wall that will be left up the whole month of December right at Culligan Plaza.”

Those who make a suggested donation of $10 by Nov. 24 will have the name of their loved one included on the memory wall, Herman said.

During previous years, Hospice has sought Light up a Life donations largely through a direct mailer, but this year the agency has opted to place envelopes at 14 area businesses as well as Neiman’s Family Market, which is the site of the campaign’s main Light up a Life display.

Shoppers at any of the businesses may pick up an envelope, fill it out on the spot and make their donation there. They also may take the envelope with them and drop it off or mail it in at a later date to the Hospice office, 112 W. Chisholm.

The number of participants in the Light up a Life campaign has dwindled in recent years, so Herman is hoping the changes will encourage people to once again participate since this is also a fundraising campaign for Hospice.

“This campaign is really important to Hospice of Michigan,” Herman said. “We don’t turn away any patients. We support anyone regardless of their ability to pay or their diagnosis. Therefore, the community financial support is critical to helping others in the community who might not be insured or who are under insured.”

The Nov. 29 holiday parade begins at 5:30 p.m. During the tree lighting ceremony afterward, Hospice will serve roasted chestnuts and hot cocoa.

Hospice of Michigan is the largest non-profit hospice provider in the state of Michigan. The agency cares for approximately 1,400 patients and their families every day throughout the state. Locally, about 80 patients are cared for on a daily basis.

“We take care of our patients wherever they call home,” said Herman of the care provided here in the local area.

For more information about the Light up a Life campaign, contact Herman at 358-4291.