SMITHVILLE — Beginning at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, the public is invited to gather at St. Luke’s North—Smithville, 601 U.S. Highway 169, for the 34th annual Tree of Life lighting ceremony and van donation presentation.
Members of the St. Luke’s auxiliary will light evergreen trees to kick off its annual fundraising campaign for the care van program. With each $5 donation, a paper star will be added to the evergreen trees in the lobbies of Barry Road and Smithville hospital campuses.
Contributions go directly to the care van program, which provides no-cost transportation to the hospital for patients within a 25-mile radius of the Smithville hospital. Each year, care vans transport around 4,000 patients to and from each of the St. Luke’s locations, covering over 85,000 miles.
”The original Tree of Life was dedicated by Joyce Denton in memory of her husband, Dr. Robert E. Denton,” a press release states. “Joyce and her daughter Courtney started the Tree of Life campaign at St. Luke’s North Hospital in Smithville where Dr. Denton served for many years as a general surgeon.”
Courtney died in 2007 and Joyce passed in 2017, but the family legacy lives on with the annual campaign and lighting.