The iconic Hospice Tree of Lights of the holiday season is back for a 32nd year with the lighting this week atop The Daily News building in Galveston.
A popular community tradition since 1989, the tree is illuminated by more than 2,000 individual bulbs. In 2019, the tree was given a major restoration by the Hospice Care Team and The Daily News.
In addition to upgrading the original lighting to more energy-efficient LED bulbs, mechanical elements that raise the historic tree and protect it during bad weather were replaced. Many of the new parts had to be machined because the tree is so old; replacements just didn’t exist.
The tree is a key part of the major fundraiser for the Hospice Care Team, allowing donors to purchase a light in honor or memory of someone aided by hospice services.
“I am always amazed given the battle with COVID-19, and now that we have come through it, we have challenges with the economy related to inflation, but how wonderful Galvestonians and others always support Hospice Care Team,” said Joe R. Chapman, administrator of the Hospice Care Team.
The goal of the fundraising effort is to raise $25,000 to serve patients who are terminally ill and have no resources for hospice care.
The Daily News and the Hospice Care Team have a long relationship.
The Daily News is especially proud of the great work the Hospice Care Team provides. Services the group provides to people in their greatest time of need allow individuals and families to spend their most difficult days in dignity.
“I am especially proud of the work those in hospice provide to individuals and families,” said Leonard Woolsey, publisher of The Daily News. “Peace of mind and spirit are among the greatest gifts one can extend to another during such times.”
The Hospice Care Team also provides services for children through a pediatric palliative care program named the Sea Turtle Program. And different from the adult hospice track, children are allowed to continue to receive medical care from doctors in hopes of reversing their conditions.
There’s an additional element to the newspaper’s support of the organization and its efforts.
The Daily News is like any other business — we feel like a family and act like a family. This year, we’ve experienced losses of loved ones who lived out their final days under the professional care of a hospice team. And knowing how comforting this was to everyone involved only underscores our support of the Hospice Care Team.
If you would like to contribute to the Hospice Care Team, so it can continue its efforts on behalf of people and families in need, please visit hospicecareteam.org or call 409-938-0070.
• The Daily News Editorial Board
Editor’s note: The Daily News will make a donation to Hospice Care Team on behalf of employees who lost loved ones in 2021.