When you look atop the Vernon Jubilee Hospital this holiday season you’ll notice something beautiful and bright. A brand new tree, featuring a bright white heart at the top, is a nod to the beloved white heart installed on the hospital roof at the outset of COVID-19, while keeping to the tradition of lighting a tree at the hospital for the annual Light a Bulb campaign.

“The new tree is not only a tribute to our healthcare and support staff who continue to work tirelessly, it also serves as a sincere thank you to our generous North Okanagan residents who support our holiday campaign year after year,” says Kate McBrearty, VJH Foundation executive director.

The new lighted tree has been designed and installed by Black & McDonald, the hospitals’ facility services provider.

Donations to the Light a Bulb campaign are starting to trickle in, with all funds raised going towards the purchase of two new ventilators and other urgently needed equipment in the hospital.

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Healthcare Auxiliary donated $25,000 to kick off the campaign with a substantial impact .Early support for the campaign also included donations from the Desert Cove Homeowners Association who collect recyclables and give back to the hospital each year, raising over $5,000 this year.

(L to R) Desert Cove Homeowners donation: Marilyn Richardson, Bree Cawley (VJHF) Jim Horsford and Robert Huth.

VJH Foundation president and chair of the 2021 Light a Bulb Campaign, Michael Kinghorn shares his gratitude for these generous contributions.

“What also inspires us are the supporters who make gifts of $35, $50, $100 and more, every year,” he says. “They see that the centre of a healthy community is its hospital. Every gift, great or small, brings us closer to raising $275,000 for critical equipment at VJH.”

This year, the community is again invited to participate in a variety of ways, including completing submissions for the Light a Bulb colouring contest. Forms can be downloaded from vjhfoundation.org. Creative masterpieces must be submitted no later than Dec. 19 for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to a local store of the winners’ choice.

Donations to Light a Bulb can be made online at www.vjhfoundation.org/donate, via phone at 250-558-1362, or mailed to Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, 2101 32nd Street, Vernon, BC, V1T 5L2.