The expansive starry night sky becomes a backdrop of memories as Hospice of the Valley invites families and individuals to gather as a community at its annual Light Up a Life on Nov. 24 to celebrate loved ones who have passed away. At the Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix, a large-scale, open-air photo montage is played out to music while people view from blankets spread out on the grass. To heighten the atmosphere, Hospice of the Valley provides illuminated necklaces for guests to wear and paper ornaments to personalize with a loved one’s name and then hang on the trees. The annual event is free to attend and open to the community, regardless of whether the deceased was a hospice patient. HOV accepts photos for the montage for about two to six weeks prior to the event.
“For me, Light Up a Life marks the beginning of the fall and winter holiday season,” says Executive Director Susan Levine. “It exemplifies everything community represents — and everything hospice is about: families coming together; offering support to one another; honoring loved ones; focusing on the good times; melding spiritual reflections with physical comforts (yes, we do serve hot chocolate and cookies!).”
Celebrating life is the theme that runs through everything HOV does, and no one is turned away for lack of insurance or financial means.
- SAVE THE DATE: Hospice of the Valley’s signature fundraiser is AAHA! An Auction of Heirlooms and Art, to be held March 15 at the Arizona Biltmore. Dinner, silent auction (which includes original works) and live auction with collectible pieces and one-of-a-kind experiences.
- With its mission of “Comfort and dignity as life nears its end,” HOV supports patients and families and relieves physical, emotional and spiritual suffering through a wide variety of programs.
- HOV was founded in 1977 by a group of community volunteers aiming to provide comfort care to patients and families in the familiar atmosphere of their own homes. It now has a staff of about 1,600 and about 2,700 volunteers.
- A nonprofit organization, it receives most of its funding from Medicare as most of its patients are older than 65 and on Medicare. A small amount comes from donations, insurance and private pay.