Manitoulin Centennial Manor starts new tradition with Tree of Lights fundraiser

Tree of Lights organizer and Manor board member Wendy Gauthier with an order form

Buy a light in memory or to celebrate an individual or organization this Christmas

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Centennial Manor is embarking on a new fundraiser starting this Christmas— the Tree of Lights campaign —an annual event where Islanders can purchase individual lights on a special tree in front of the Manor in memory of a loved one, in celebration of a person or organization as a gift or simply in support of the long-term care facility.

“Lights can be purchased starting November 19 at the Island municipal offices and local businesses,” explained Manor board member and organizer Wendy Gauthier. “Lights are $10 each and starting December 1, we will be lighting the tree one strand (100 lights) at a time.”

As the lights are sold, making up each strand of 100, the tree will slowly begin to be lit with the goal to sell and light up the 1,000 lights on the tree and the star at the top, marking the achievement of the $10,000 fundraising goal.

A promotional poster for the campain.
A promotional poster for the campain.

“This is a board initiative and we plan on making this an annual event,” said Ms. Gauthier. “The funds raised this year will be going toward the Manor’s Calling on You campaign to fundraise for a new call bell system for the home. The campaign launched this summer with the goal to raise $100,000 to replace the ailing nurses call bell system which is the communication system between the nurse’s desk, the residents’ rooms and common areas. When assistance is required by a resident, the bell is rung and the nurses on the desk respond.”

Packages for lights, available at all Island municipalities and a number of businesses, contain an envelope, order form and recognition cards. Individuals are encouraged to fill out the form, marking how many lights they would like to purchase and note if a light is in memory or celebration of a person or organization. The pre-addressed enveloped, containing the order form, can then be stamped and mailed to the Manor or dropped of. The Manor will accept cheques or cash. The recognition cards, noting that a light has been purchased in the name of an individual, are the purchasers to keep and can be included in a Christmas card, as a hostesting gift or stocking stuffer. Tax receipts are available upon request.

“The tree will be lit throughout the month of December,” said Ms. Gauthier, “and the December 23rd Expositor will feature an advertisement listing all the honourees (people who have had lights purchased in their names).”

“We are very excited about this fundraiser, we have already presold 110 lights and think it will be great way of remembering and recognizing individuals in our Island community while raising funds for our Manitoulin-wide long-term care home,” concluded Ms. Gauthier, who also noted the many volunteers who have been helping get the campaign off the ground.