Hospice lights trees in remembrance

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Hospice of San Joaquin will illuminate the holiday sky in front of Delta College during the 24th annual Tree of Lights ceremony.

This year’s event will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday Nov. 26. The large tree on the corner of Yokuts and Pacific avenue at the main entrance to campus will be lit.

A local hospice services family will flip the huge PG&E switch, to light up the tree with 1,600 lights.

A devoted crew of volunteers from PG&E will decorate the huge 80-foot tree.

PG&E uses “energy efficient” LED lights for the tree.

There are more than 3,000-feet of Christmas lights and about 3,000-feet of garland blanketing the huge fir tree.

That is almost one mile of Christmas decorations.

Mark Rasmussen, has directed a crew of devoted volunteers for the last 24 years.

“We usually have the same group of PG&E volunteers each year,” said Rasmussen in a campus news release. “I wouldn’t say we have it down to a science, but we’re getting better every year.”

It used to take the ten workers two days to finish this huge project but now it can be finished in less than a day.

The purpose of the tree of lights is to remember and honor loved ones that have passed away.

Each light represents a life.

Names of honorees and donors are placed on a marquee at the base of the tree through Dec. 31.

The proceeds from the Tree of Lights help the Hospice of San Joaquin provide the highest level of care for terminally ill patients and their families.

“We always invite a hospice family that has young children to light the tree. These families emphasize the Hospice of San Joaquin’s commitment to helping those in need face terminal illness,” said Carolyn Gomes, of Hospice of San Joaquin, also in the campus news release.

Family and friends are invited to remember and honor loved ones by dedicating a light on Hospice of San Joaquin’s Tree of Lights.

For more information or to donate a light, call the Hospice of San Joaquin: (209) 922-0242 or visit www.hospicesj.org.