Light Up A Life: Saturday will feature traditional community event

November 24, 2004
Santa Paula News

Light Up A Life is Saturday and the community event is welcoming all to celebrate the holiday season and those who are loved.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesLight Up A Life is Saturday and the community event is welcoming all to celebrate the holiday season and those who are loved.Hospice of Santa Clara Valley/Home Support Group volunteers are busy baking dozens of cookies – all star-shaped in keeping with the Light Up A Life theme – and the cider is being readied for spices.Over 1,600 area residents received Light Up A Life invitations – including a golden star ornament – to memorialize a lost loved one or to honor the living.Stars are what Light Up a Life, a community tradition, is all about. For each $10 donation the name of the honored or memorialized one is read and “their” star shines on the huge holiday tree outside United Water Conservation District offices on the northwest corner of 8th and Main streets. In case of rain the event moves inside Blanchard Community Library, a venue that offers a grand view of the holiday tree.Saturday’s Light Up A Life ceremony will begin at 5:00 p.m. and feature traditional caroling, supporters reading the lists of those to whom a star is dedicated as well as the cookies and hot spiced cider.“This will be our eleventh year,” said Hospice Board President Cathy Barringer. “Light Up A Life has truly become a tradition and a special time to usher in the season.”Hundreds of hours are spent by volunteers to produce the event that is “so enjoyed by the community,” Barringer noted.
This year Barringer is considering reintroducing the candles – encased in no-drip holders – lit for the name reading ceremony; soloist Patty Strickland will sing “Silent Night” at the close of the program.Song sheets with holiday favorites will be distributed to the crowd who will be asked to sing along to music provided by Gale Graham and Gretchen Frey.Barringer noted that latecomers are welcome to buy stars at the event for those they would like to memorialize and/or honor, and “they will be read” during the ceremony.Again this year there will be a special Light Up A Life Pet Tree at the Whistle Stop Café, where favorite felines and fidos can be honored or remembered. Also at the Café will be a special Tree of Remembrance where gold stars in memory or in honor of a loved one will be hung throughout the holiday season.Santa Clara Valley Hospice is a nonprofit corporation serving persons with life-limiting illnesses and other needs in Santa Paula, Fillmore, Piru and Saticoy.Santa Clara Valley Hospice provides free transportation to medical appointments, offers sickroom equipment loan program, lending library, caregiver respite, meal preparation and errand assistance, just several examples of the always-free Hospice services.For more information on Light Up a Life, call the SCVH at 525-1333.

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