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Auxiliary celebrates 22nd annual tree

By Staff | Dec 5, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Heart of America Medical Center Auxiliary members, hospital staff, choir singers and more celebrated the 22nd annual Tree of Giving at a lighting ceremony Monday.

The Heart of America Mecial Center Auxiliary celebrated the 22nd annual Tree of Giving with a tree-lighting ceremony Monday afternoon.

Preceeding the lighting ceremony was a chapel dedication in the name of late pastor Rev. Brenda Burns.

Burns served as the hospital chaplain for three years before a vehicle accident claimed her life late last year. HAMC?CEO?Jeff Lingerfelt, Hospice Coordinator Becky Hershey and Burns’ successor Don Barsness shared thoughts and appreciation for Burns.

“Everybody loved Brenda instantly and it’s good to see her family here today,” Lingerfelt said. “Brenda passed away, really in the line of duty. She was on the way to visit a hospice patient.”

Hershey was a dear friend of Burns.

“I can’t think of a better way to honor Brenda than to dedicate this chapel to her today,” Hershey said. “I think about her giggle and how she had the ability to laugh at herself. When people heard her giggle they laughed too.

“Her seeds of love were planted far and wide and they’re still growing today.”

Hershey read Colossians 3:1-4 from Burns’ Bible:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

HAMC’s Tommy Schwartz played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes and the names of those who died in the previous year and other were read aloud.

After singing “Sleigh Ride” earlier in the afternoon, members of the Rugby High School choir returned to close the ceremony with “Silent Night.”

The choir members present were Jacob Berginski, Kyler Odden, Emily and Sara Stier and Christine Vetsch.

The dedication was attended by Burns’ parents Duane and Shirley, her sister Joanne and nephew Jonathan.

The Tree of Giving campaign was developed for “caring and sharing for healthcare” and money raised goes toward a variety of initiatives. Funds will go toward Heart of America Medical Center, Heart of America Hospice, Long Term Care, Haaland Estates and Heart of America Johnson Clinics, according to the HAMC website.

Those in attendance enjoyed cider and goodies following the tree lighting.

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