We hope you enjoy reading the story of how the Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society came to exist, and how, through the generous support of Tri-Community residents like you, we continue to grow and help people in need.
History of the Society by Linda McCreath, Director/Past Chair
Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society
Our Beginnings in Stony Plain
In 1992, through the vision of the Coordinator of the Parkland Palliative Care Program (PPCP) in our area, and because of a need for additional financial support for the fledgling program, the Town of Stony Plain and the Heart of Town Business Association were approached with a unique request to light the Murals in Stony Plain. For a minimum $10 donation in support of palliative care, one of the clear lights would be illuminated, representing the memory of the loved one. The Murals became the first symbol of the Light Up Your Life campaign.
The First Donation Boxes
Subsequently, a small Palliative Care Committee was formed to coordinate this fundraising effort. The first campaign ran, as it does today, from November to December, and enthusiastic volunteers wrapped shoe boxes in Christmas paper with a hole cut in the lid. These were the first donation boxes! They were placed in many business locations and the residents of Stony Plain embraced the campaign, donating several thousand dollars! Lack of security notwithstanding, not a single donation went missing.
In the next year the donation box design went “high-tech” with hand-crafted, wooden boxes … still not locked, but secure within the business locations which agreed to support the campaign.
Spruce Grove Joins the Campaign
Moving forward three years, the City of Spruce Grove became part of the fundraising effort, and the “Dove of Hope” symbol was created as the symbol for Spruce Grove. Local artist, Cindy Barratt, was approached to create a design for the Dove. Her expertise and creativity gave us the Dove as it is today. A large scale Dove made of rebar and decorated with garland and lights was constructed by a company called Christmas Images/Metal Urges. Over the years, two more Doves of Hope were added, and placed in various locations in Spruce Grove during the annual campaign.
Expansion of the Campaign Continues with Wabamun and Seba Beach
As the PPCP encompassed support for individuals needing palliative care in the wider Parkland County region, Wabamun and Seba Beach area were added over the next few years. The “Wave of Hope” (Seba Beach), and the “Tree of Hope” (Wabamun) symbolized the campaign in these communities.
The Society Logo and County of Parkland
In 1996, a young high school student participated in a competition to design the Light Up Your Life logo to embrace all the symbols of the campaign. The last symbol, the “Circle of Hope” representing the County of Parkland, completed all the areas supported through the PPCP. And thus, the “circle was complete” …
Incorporation and Charitable Status
In April, 2004 in response to a desire to become a separate entity, and self-sufficient in meeting the needs of our donors, the LUYL Committee became incorporated with charitable status under the name of the Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society (BN 86282 5544 RR00011). The 10-member, volunteer Board of Directors administers all organizational and financial aspects of the Society.
In 2014 the Light Up Your Life Society reached the major fundraising lifetime milestone of $1 million! This money, so gratefully received from our generous donors, goes a long way to providing comfort to the many Tri-Municipal residents living out their final days. We are also proud to note that 97% of donations is used directly for that purpose.
Light Up Your Life 25th Anniversary
In 2017 Light Up Your Life Society celebrated its 25th Anniversary of serving the Tri-Municipal region. We served cake in each of the 5 communities, rode in a 1957 Mercury in the Stony Plain Parade on June 3, and much more.
Also in 2017 as part of our anniversary celebrations we handed out Certificates of Appreciation to various groups and organizations that have supported us over the years. Pictured below are the City of Spruce Grove Council, Parkland County Council, and Town of Stony Plain Council.
30th Anniversary Celebrations
Our Garden Party on July 24, 2022 was a huge success! Guests learned about the Society’s special 30th Anniversary Hospice Project, and were entertained with music, art and food.
Mayor of Spruce Grove, Jeff Acker, had this to say: “Congratulations to the Light Up Your Life Tri-Community Palliative/Hospice Care Society on your 30th Anniversary! Your dedication and compassion over the years has profoundly impacted not only those who are nearing the end of their life, but their families, loved ones and all those who support them. On behalf of Spruce Grove City Council, we are exceedingly appreciative to you for your vision, commitment, compassion and continued service in our communities.”
The Sunflower is the International symbol for Palliative/Hospice Care. Cookies donated by PRETZEL SHACK of Stony Plain.
The Present Day
The 2021 campaign marked the 30th anniversary of the first “shoe-box” donations, and the 29th Anniversary of the LUYL Society. The dedicated Directors and Members at Large continue to give freely of their time to coordinate, not only the Annual Campaign, but other events such as the Silent Auction, Orient Family Restaurant Luncheon for Light Up, and the annual Raffle. We take advantage of every opportunity we are given to raise additional money for this very worthwhile cause.
In 2022 we continue to establish and foster relationships with our Community Partners (businesses, service clubs and individuals), and because of their support, and the fact that we are volunteer-run, the LUYL Society is proud to say that on average each year 97% of all funds raised are used to directly support the people in need in our own communities. According to the Society’s Terms of Reference, the beliefs and values we hold dear guide us in raising funds to benefit palliative/hospice and continuing care clients in the Tri-Community area, and in raising awareness of the need for emotional and moral support to people and their families at a very vulnerable time in their lives.
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Donations and Bequests are gratefully accepted throughout the year. We appreciate your help beyond words, and we thank you for your ongoing support.