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Tree lighting tonight in memory of loved ones
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PG&E workers installed lights on Doctors Hospital of Manteca’s tall evergreen at the corner of North Street and Cottage Avenue Tuesday morning. - photo by GLENN KAHL
A Doctors Hospital Christmas tree representing yuletide donations to the Hospice of San Joaquin will burst into a colorful and brilliant dedication tonight at 6 p.m. to loved ones who have passed away.

PG&E workers used two aerial lift trucks to place a star on top of the evergreen at the corner of Cottage and North streets Tuesday morning.  

The 19th annual “Tree of Lights” ceremony features a variety of colors each in the name of a special individual and each directly related to a donation for that person.  

Looking up at the tree topped by a massive star, the audience that will gather can add up the donations by counting the numbers of red, green, blue, white and yellow bulbs.  Red bulbs represent $5 donations, green $10, blue $25, white $50 and yellows are worth $100.  A “Friends of Light” streamer represents $500 toward Hospice.

Hospital staff members who will be supplying hot chocolate and hot cider for the crowd will include Mark Lisa, chief executive officer; Carmen Silva, chief nursing officer and chief operating officer; Eric McMurtrey and Kathy McKenzie of the marketing and public relations department at the hospital.

Hospice annual gifts and events coordinator Carolyn Gomes said they planned to invite one of their families with young children to light the tree.  Using families of those facing terminal illness emphasizes the commitment to those families, she added.

Gomes noted that family and friends are asked to remember and honor loved ones by dedicating a light on the “Tree of Lights” – a donation that is to be listed on a board under the tree showing the names of those being honored.  The names will remain posted until Dec. 31.  

For those wishing to donate a memorable light they may call Hospice of San Joaquin at 922-0242.  The website address is