BELOIT - Residents huddled together Monday on the grounds of Beloit Memorial Hospital to admire the many trees decorated with holiday lights and to remember loved ones.
The 36th Annual Lovelight Ceremony was held on the chilly evening where residents held warm memories of loved ones who had passed away. There were more than 3,000 lights adorning the trees on the hospital grounds. Each light represented a loved one who had passed away or a special person who was being honored by friends or family.
Residents who donate $5 or more can have a light placed on one of the Lovelight trees. The money raised goes to scholarships for students who will pursue a career in the health care field. Contributions and names will be accepted through Dec. 16 and names will be listed in advertisements to be placed in the Beloit Daily News and the Stateline News.
For Shirly Bennett, Monday night's ceremony allowed remembering her grandmother, who passed away five years ago. She was accompanied by Sheri Bennett, who was remembering her mother.
"She liked to ride around and look at all the Christmas lights," Sheri recalled.
Beloit Health System President and CEO Tim McKevett told those gathered at the ceremony that the lights on the trees evoke memories for so many during the holiday season.
"Each of the lights remind us how brightly they shine in our lives," he said.
He pointed out a special tree lit up with blue lights that honors veterans and first responders.
The ceremony also featured music provided by the Beloit Turner High School choir, Overdrive, which performed songs of the season amongst the Lovelight trees and in the lobby of the hospital.
After the ceremony guests were invited into the hospital lobby to enjoy hot chocolate, coffee, cookies as well as warm memories of loved ones.