[November 28, 2012]
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Tuesday evening, a crowd turned out for the
annual Light Up A Life ceremony at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln. Light Up A Life is a program of the
Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation, a not-for-profit entity
organized in 1986 to raise funds for Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Donations made to Light Up A Life go directly to meet
the needs of patients by assisting with the purchases of
medical equipment at ALMH or funding Memorial Home Services Hospice
care. The funds are designated at the time of donation for
either of those services, or they may also be designated to go toward
funding scholarships for future health care professionals.
Traditionally, donations have been made in
honor of those who are deceased. This year, Light Up A Life also
offered an opportunity for donors to honor health care
professionals who were special to them while their loved one was a
patient at the hospital.
The evening began with prayer offered up by
ALMH Chaplain Robert Henderson, followed by the lighting of the
candles. As candles were lit, foundation director Marty Ahrends read the poem "Light a Candle."
This year's honorary Light Up A Life chairwoman was Shirley Dittus, the widow of Victor Dittus. She spoke to the
group, remembering the time she and her husband spent at the old
hospital and the new one. She noted the doctors and nurses who
took such good care of Victor during his illness and in his final
She also shared a story of the last trip
Victor got to make, to Hoover Dam, and how happy he was to ride his
motorized chair across the dam, even though he had hoped he would be
able to walk across it.
She ended by asking for those present to say who
they were there in honor of if they wished. Throughout the
crowd, many spoke, saying whom they had lost. It was an
emotional time for everyone there.
When all were finished, Dittus lit the white
tree. The group then sang "O Christmas Tree." Pastor
Henderson offered up a closing prayer and the group sang "Silent
Afterward everyone was invited to enjoy a soup
supper, courtesy of ALMH.
Pictures by Nila Smith