Lighting the Night

A winter tradition – the VNA Memorial Tree lighting – continues to celebrate loved ones

In one of the most beautiful ceremonies of the season, members of the Visiting Nurses Association and their guests lit the Memorial Tree on Thursday December 5 in a new location – The Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia in Fairmount Park. The tree twinkled with hundreds of white lights in honor and remembrance of those who hold a special place in the hearts and memories of friends and family.

The service was led by the VNA’s Chaplain, Donna Geiger, and Zac Adams and Stephanie Fortunato from the Clinical Support team. Joining them to celebrate was the choir of the United States Postal Service. Songs and special readings were followed by everyone stepping out of the auditorium and into the cold, dark of evening to bear witness to the lighting of the tree.

Geiger spoke briefly, saying “Tonight we celebrate and bless the new home of our memorial tree with strong roots in our community. Our young memorial tree only stands about 4 feet tall but we will celebrate it and bless it tonight and for many years to come.”  Rather appropriately the choir then sang, “Celebration.”

After the solemn remembrance, everyone came back inside for fellowship and refreshments and entertainment by the Choir. There were some tears, some laughter, and a lot of hugs.

About the VNA

VNA Philadelphia provides comprehensive home heath, palliative, and end-of-life care of the highest quality to all people regardless of their ability to pay. They also take care of people with all kinds of different insurance. They are proud to have been part of the Philadelphia community since 1886. For more information about the VNA, please call 215-581-2002 or visit Want to make a difference? The VNA is looking for volunteers in administrative support, food delivery, patient companionship, event organizing and more. Training provided. Call 215-581-2360 or visit

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