A longstanding annual tradition at St. Paul’s Hospital returns later this month: Over 100,000 light bulbs, spanning a length of more than 10 kilometres, will be turned on for the Christmas-time Lights of Hope charity campaign supporting the hospital’s initiatives.
On the evening of Thursday, November 19, fireworks will erupt over St. Paul’s Hospital along Burrard Street to celebrate the lighting of this year’s display. Other programming complementing the five-minute pyrotechnic display will include food trucks and family activities.
Since 1998, the event has grown into a community celebration that supports the hospital’s greatest patient care and equipment needs. The hospital acknowledges the largest donations by printing the donor individual or company’s name on the back-lit stars of the display.
“Imagine the hope that you give to every patient who benefits from the incredible advances made possible by your donations to Lights of Hope,” said Dick Vollet, the President and CEO of the St. Paul’s Foundation.
“Your donations make it possible to detect and stop heart disease before it’s too late… to care for dialysis patients in comfort and privacy… to restore the use of a person’s hands using leading-edge reconstructive surgical equipment. Any gift you can give will make a difference. Your donations help to bring comfort, support and hope to the thousands of British Columbians who rely on St. Paul’s for the best possible care.”
In 2013 alone, the campaign raised $2.4 million, and this total was exceeded last year with over $2.6 million raised.
Only a tiny fraction of the money raised goes towards the fireworks community celebration and the display’s electric bills through the New Year. With the use of LED bulbs for more than half of the lights, it costs just $65 each night to turn on the display.
And when it comes to the time-intensive process of setting up the light display, this is feat is accomplished by over 150 volunteers over a three week timeline.