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Hospice tree lighting takes place Wednesday
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PG&E crewman Greg Cobarrubias and his partner near the top of the 80-foot redwood tree that has adorned the Hospice Tree of Lights in Manteca for the last 18 years. Donations for the symbolic lights honoring memorializing loved ones run from $5 to $250. The star at the top of the tree represents a $250 gift. - photo by GLENN KAHL/ The Bulletin

It was an all volunteer effort for PG&E linemen who installed some 1200 lights on the Hospice of San Joaquin Christmas tree.

  The lighting ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec.  2, at 6 p.m.

“This tree has really grown – when they started it wasn’t much more than a shrub,” PG&E spokesman Jim Pacheco said as he watched crewmembers install the lights from their extended buckets near Doctors Hospital at the corner of North Street and Cottage Avenue.

“When they started it 18 years ago it was just me and a T-man and one bucket and a very small tree,” he remembered.

 Now there are three trucks, two buckets and some five men preparing the much larger tree for the lighting ceremonies this week.  Other trees the PG&E crews have trimmed are in Stockton, Lockeford, Lodi, Tracy and Rio Vista.

The Hospice of San Joaquin gifts and events coordinator Carolyn Teixeira Gomes urges Mantecans to “Light up a Light….Light up a Life” in memory of, or in honor of a loved one who holds a special place in your heart during the holiday season.

She noted that personal donations will not only light up the Tree of Lights, but also support Hospice of San Joaquin’s programs of nursing care and bereavement services for terminally ill patients and their families.

Online donations may be made through the Hospice website at The events line is 922-0242.