The community came out in strong numbers for the 12th annual Tree of Lights Ceremony on Monday.
For some, it was honoring those who have passed of cancer. For others, it was carrying on the fight as survivor – the Hospice of San Joaquin once again brought out the Memory Board with the names of the loved ones.
“Light Up a Light… Light Up a Life,” said those at the Hospice of San Joaquin, who held the Tree of Lights Ceremony in conjunction with the Ripon Tree Light Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Wall.
Hospice board member Nicole Bettencourt welcomed those who made it out to the tree-lighting event hosted by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, calling it: “A magical night to start the holiday season.”
Chamber CEO Kelly Donohue acknowledged a few notable folks including Buddy the Elf, as in a life-size photo of the Will Ferrell character from the 2003 comedy, not to mention Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
The Chamber is also accepting sign ups for the Ripon Christmas Light Parade on Thursday, Dec. 14. The theme will be Christmas Movie Classics.
The Ripon High School Band performed the opening music at the tree-lighting ceremony. Pastor Brett Dood of the Calvary Reformed Church provided the invocation.
Special guests included San Joaquin County Supervisor-District 5 Robert Rickman and Ripon Mayor Michael Restuccia.
Ava Brocchini, Miss Ripon 2023/Miss Almond Blossom, had the honors of lighting up the evergreen tree featuring strings of LED lights, representing cancer victims and survivors.
The RHS Choir closed out the holiday event by singing Christmas Carols.
Hospice of San Joaquin will be back in the area on Thursday.
The tree-lighting ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Doctors Hospital of Manteca, in front of large evergreen tree at the corner of East North Street and Cottage Avenue.