Manitoulin Centennial Manor launches third annual Tree of Lights fundraiser

Volunteers erect the Tree of Lights at the Manitoulin Centennial Manor, kicking off the annual campaign.

Buy a light and help illuminate residents’ lives

MANITOULIN—The third annual Manitoulin Centennial Manor Tree of Lights (TOL) campaign has launched and donation cards are available across the Island.

The TOL was started two years ago as a way to raise funds for the long-term care facility. Islanders can purchase individual lights on a special tree, which is erected in front of the Manor, for $10 in memory of a loved one, in celebration of a person or organization, as a gift or simply in support of the home.

As the lights are sold, making up each strand of 100, the tree will slowly begin to be lit with the goal to sell and light up 1,500 lights on the tree and the star at the top, marking the achievement of the $15,000 fundraising goal.

“This year our goal is raising $15,000 towards the installation of ceiling patient lifts at the Manor,” explained TOL organizer Wendy Gauthier. “These devices will enable the comfortable and safe transfer of patients from their wheelchair to bed. We have raised $48,276 to date of the $75,000 goal, and are hoping that the TOL fundraiser will help us get closer to our goal.”

Ms. Gauthier noted that the tree is positioned so that the residents can watch the progress of the tree lighting.

“The residents look at it as their tree and really enjoy watching the progress from the erection outside and as the string of lights are sold and lit up,” shared Ms. Gauthier.

Packages for lights are available at all the Bank of Montreal branches across the Island, The Manitoulin Expositor office in Little Current and at all libraries on Manitoulin. The order forms and recognition cards are in an envelope addressed to the Manor, making the process even easier. Individuals are encouraged to fill out the form, marking how many lights they would like to purchase and note if a light is in memory or celebration of a person or organization. The pre-addressed envelope containing the order form can then be stamped and mailed to the Manor or dropped off. The Manor will accept cheques or cash. The recognition cards, noting that a light has been purchased in the name of an individual, are the purchasers to keep and can be included in a Christmas card, as a hostesting gift or stocking stuffer. Tax receipts are available upon request.

Last year, a new tradition started where individuals or groups can make a donation to light the star on the tree, with the highest donation receiving the honour. Simply send in your donation with the words ‘top of the tree.’ The honour went to the Sheguiandah Senior Hall Jam Session last year. The star lighting will take place at the Manor Christmas party in mid December.

New this year, and in honour of the Manor’s 50th anniversary, individuals who donate $50 or more will be named ‘gold star supporters’ and will have their name appear on a gold star on the fundraising board at the Manor.

The names of those remembered and celebrated will be noted in The Expositor in the December 20 edition. Gold star supporters will also be listed.

“This is a pretty amazing fundraiser for $10 donations at a time,” said Ms. Gauthier. “The Island support has been great and we are grateful that this campaign and the Manor is seen as a destination for people’s donation dollars.”

For more information or to follow the progress of the campaign, visit www.manitoulincentennial.ca or follow the Manitoulin Centennial Manor on Facebook.

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