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Tree twinkles with lights of hope and honor

December 05, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The hundreds of lights sparkling on the Christmas tree outside of Waynesboro Hospital and the star that crowns it represent people living and dead whose lives have touched others and contributions that will help still more through the works of the hospital auxiliary.

The auxiliary held its annual Lights of Hope ceremony Sunday, this year honoring approximately 300 people and raising more than $3,500 for its programs, Treasurer Frances Miller said. President Elaine Sneeringer said sponsors paid $10, and sometimes more, for a light in the memory or in honor of a loved one.

Peggy Wright of Waynesboro, one of 427 members of the auxiliary, said she sponsored two lights on the tree in the memory of her late husband and son, James Wright Sr. and James Wright Jr.

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"I also do the volunteer work, which helps me because I get a lot more out of it than I give," Wright said. "You meet a lot of people that need someone to talk to ... Sometimes you find out your own problems are not that great."

"This past year, 141 dedicated adult volunteers, 41 health career students and 24 student volunteers contributed 21,000 hours of service," said Ken Shur, the hospital's vice president. The volunteers' "gifts of time" translated to about $460,000 in services for the hospital.

Auxiliary gifts to the hospital totaled more than $40,000 this year and helped pay for comfort toys for children, televisions in emergency department patient rooms, blood pressure equipment, chairs and walkers, and updating and decorating three patient rooms.

"We try to make the services better for the patients by providing enhancements," Sneeringer said.

Shur said the auxiliary paid $12,000 for the genetic screening of newborns and gave out seven $1,000 scholarships to high school graduates pursuing careers in health care.

"I always put in for my brother and my sister," said Viola Eigenbrode, an auxiliary member who sponsored lights for the late Isabelle Cluck and Lincoln Shank.

"It's just a way of remembering them each year ... and helping the auxiliary," she said.

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