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Auxiliary's Lights of Hope tree a way to honor loved ones

December 08, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Richard and Doris Jones were at Waynesboro Hospital Sunday for their son, Paul. Olive Dillon and her son, Douglas, went to honor the memory of her husband, also named Douglas.

The holiday season is a hard time for families who have lost loved ones, whether it was several years ago or within the past few weeks. About two dozen people gathered in the hospital as the sun was setting for the annual Lights of Hope ceremony, honoring those living and dead who made a difference in their lives.

"They provided a lot of help to us and they really helped him when he was in a lot of pain," Douglas Dillon said of the staff at the hospital. "He mentioned several times about how kind the nurses were to him," he said of his father, who died of a liver ailment about a month ago.

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As the ceremony began inside the building, the Lights of Hope tree was lighted outside. Mary Jane Collins, representing the Waynesboro Hospital Auxiliary and the Delta Y-Gradale Sorority, and Jane Reichard of the sorority read off the list of about 200 names of those being remembered or honored.

The list included the names of seven auxiliary members who died this year: Peggy Simon Lucas, Louise McCauley, Maybelle McClanahan, Leola McJilton, Helen Metcalfe, Virginia Pittman and Virginia Rickett.

"Without question, one of the greatest resources of Waynesboro Hospital is the devotion and generosity of its many volunteers and auxilians," said Ken Shur, the hospital's vice president. The 330 auxiliary members and another 177 volunteers performed more than 24,300 hours of service in areas ranging from the birthing center to the gift shop.

Shur said the work of volunteers helped improve the lives of patients and staff.

Each of the names read represented a star on the tree, according to Audrey Eshleman, who joined the Waynesboro YMCA-affiliated service sorority in 1955, one year after it was founded. Money raised from the sponsorships goes to the hospital auxiliary, she said.

The star atop the tree was in memory of Omer Eshleman, Ralph Dinterman and Edward Wile, spouses of sorority members, she said.

"In this season when dark outlasts the light ... let us remember those who have been a light along our way," Collins said.

"We came because our son passed away in 1997, and we come here every year," said Doris Jones. "He was our only child and it was hard on both of us," she said after the ceremony.

"I've been here the past two years since my dad passed away in 2002" of cancer, said Beth Dinterman Wieczorek. "Your family is very important, and your memory of them and your honor for them is very important," she said.

"I miss him," Wieczorek said of her dad. "He was my rock."

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