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Hospital tradition in Colquitt County turns into hope for community

Posted at 1:32 PM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 13:32:28-05

COLQUITT COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) — Every December, Colquitt Regional Medical Center decorates with lights to celebrate the holiday season, bringing a sense of joy to those who are suffering.

CRMC is about to kick off Christmas with their annual lighting of the love light garden.

A tradition the community is able to participate in.

"People in the community can buy lights to honor their loved ones or memory of one of their loved ones."

CEO and president of CRMC Jim Matneys said the ceremony raises money for the children's fund that helps the pediatric patients.

Matney added that having a child that was a patient in this hospital reminded him that everyone needs a little joy for the Christmas holidays.

"What I want them to do is be happy because sometimes being in a hospital is a little scary and hopefully this will take that anxiety away," said Matneys.

Beth Bates is no stranger to this medical center since both of her boys were admitted for some time. She said having this garden ceremony brings peace.

"It's always a calming spot this garden is and then at night time when it's Christmas and they have all the lights it's exciting, it's peaceful, it's something pretty," said Bates.

This garden lighting ceremony has been a tradition for 26 years and it's a way for the staff, patients, family members and community to kick off the holidays.

"It's just a nice gathering place and it brings Christmas closer because you know the hospital is not super exciting and happy to be in at Christmas so it's a bright spot in the day," said Bates.

Since the first ceremony, people have donated to the children's fund.

They can buy a brick paver with a loved one's name to place in the garden's sidewalk or purchase a love light on the Christmas tree that is lit to honor someone's memory.

The virtual Love Light ceremony is Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 5:30 p.m. on the Facebook page of Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Following our ceremony, the garden will be open nightly from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. through Jan. 2 for visitors to stroll through over 40 luminous love light trees while holiday music plays.

More information on how to donate can be found by clicking here.