Janiah Spooner plays the pink harp on the left along with Shawn Lubenow and Malcolm Lowe and other classmates from Peeks Chapel Elementary School Monday during the 30th annual Love Life Tree lighting ceremony at Rockdale Medical Center. The group of fourth and fifth grade students performed Jingle Bells and Greensleeves and are led by music teacher Erica Holmes. Others harpists are Kelvin Spooner, Vital Joseph, Malik Harper, Kerrington German, Julie Gutsulyak, Paulanne Patterson and Rebecca Lubenow. Staff Photo: Jay Jones.
CONYERS -- Rockdale Medical Center's Hospital Auxiliary continued its holiday tradition Monday with the 30th annual lighting of the hospital's Love Life Tree.
A crowd gathered for the lighting ceremony at the Love Life tree, located in RMC's East Tower lobby, where they heard a performance by fourth- and fifth-grade harpists from Peeks Chapel Elementary School.
The event kicks off the holiday season for the hospital and also provided a moment to reflect on patients who have been helped at RMC and those who work to provide medical services in the community.
It was a time to remember Caroline Sutton and Pat Stapley, two RMC Auxiliary members who passed away during the past year.
The tradition of the Love Life Tree started in 1981 as a fund raiser where people could honor a loved one or remember a deceased family member with a tree light. The donations received for the tree decorations was one of biggest fundraising events of the hospital auxiliary.
RMC Auxiliary member Carolyn Redfearn explained the Love Life Tree ceremony has changed over the years and is no longer a fund raising event. Today, each light on the tree has meaning to those who serve in the medical community.
"It is a celebration of the lives that are touched every day by the gift of quality health care that is received at Rockdale Medical Center," she said. "The lights on the tree are in memory or honoring our friends and loved ones who have served the Rockdale medical community and remind us of the many ways how each individual has touched our lives."
RMC Chief Executive Officer Deborah Armstrong thanked the auxiliary for its work in supporting the hospital's staff and patients each day. She recognized the Auxiliary's help this year in funding educational scholarships for RMC employees and getting a golf cart for hospital security staff to use.
"One of the favorite things I get to do is to walk around and see the blue coats, a sea of royal blue, and the loving folks who wear the uniforms," she said. "We want to recognize our special volunteers for all they do for the hospital in many, many hours of service that are performed."