It took three-and-a half hours to set up this past Saturday, and involved between 120 and 150 volunteers. But for those who took part, setting up the St. Paul’s Lights of Hope display lights is a labour of love for a good cause.
“It’s a real mix and a great family event for sure,” said Broek Bosma, Chief Development Officer of the St. Paul’s Foundation.
Bosma told Daily Hive that some of the volunteers involved with the set-up have been coming for numerous years – and they’re not just from Vancouver, or even BC.
“There’s a bunch of volunteers that come up from Seattle and some of them have been coming for 20 years,” he said. “We have a good group of corporate sponsors as well that bring teams down, and the whole Foundation is out there too.”
One of those volunteers is Gold Sponsor PrismTech’s Evan Bay.
“If you’re able and in a position to give, then you have an obligation to do so in some capacity,” said Bay.
The Lights of Hope fundraising campaign generates millions of dollars each year for the hospital’s most immediate patient care and equipment needs.
And every year, the hospital invites the community to gather outside the hospital for an event that celebrates the campaign’s achievements.
The annual display itself features 200 stars and over 100,000 twinkling lights.
Now, with the display set to go, Bosma and others involved with the project are eagerly awaiting the 2017 celebration on November 16.
“This year, we’re hoping to match what we raised last year, which was a record year of $3 million,” said Bosma. “This year we’re hoping to do the same, and we’re encouraging the community to challenge us and to go over that goal.”
Bosma told Daily Hive it’s important for people to remember that all of the funds raised through the campaign “go directly to the patients and really allow us to provide an enhanced patient care experience.”
And for those who haven’t yet, it’s not to late to get involved.
“Everyone can be a part of lights of hope,” said Bosma. “It’s a great way to participate in charity and philanthropy over the holiday season.”
The best way to get involved, he added, is to go to the foundation’s website and follow the links for the campaign.
The Lights of Hope event features fireworks and the launch of the iconic lighting of the display between 6 pm and 8 pm – with the actual lighting taking place between 6 pm and 7 pm, Bosma said.
“We invite everybody to come down to Helmcken and Burrard,” he said.
A “good portion” of Helmcken is closed to traffic during the event, so people can get outside “enjoy the holiday atmosphere,” watch the fireworks and the official lighting of the display.
This year will be particularly special, Lights of Hope will be celebrating its 20th anniversary.
“St Paul’s has touched so many lives,” said Bosma. “Most people I talk to have some connection and I would just encourage everybody to get out and participate.”
Daily Hive is a Proud Silver Sponsor of St. Paul’s Hospital’s 2017 Lights of Hope