ALMH holds annual Light Up A Life ceremony

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[November 28, 2012]     Send a link to a friend

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 Hospital.

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 moments.

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 Night."

Afterward everyone was invited to enjoy a soup supper, courtesy of ALMH.

Pictures by Nila Smith

Some arrived early for the event.

They took a moment to chat before going out to the east-side patio.


More folks start to arrive and everyone is invited to go out on the patio.

Everyone gathered on the patio.

Chaplain Robert Henderson offers up an opening prayer.

Marty Ahrends reads the poem "Light a Candle."


All the candles are lit.

Shirley Dittus speaks.


Dittus prepares to light the tree.

Ahrends leads the song "O Christmas Ttree."


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