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'Light Up a Life' brings community comfort

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
"Light Up a Life" brought together families and friends to honor the memory of their loved ones. Below, HOV Senior Vice President Debbie Shumway welcomes the crowd with members of The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix.

Hospice of the Valley’s “Light Up a Life” event drew about 1,500 people to Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix on Nov. 18 to honor loved ones who have died.

Bereaved families and friends gathered under the stars, enjoying hot chocolate and cookies and perfect fall weather. They shared stories about their loved ones with friends and strangers, prompting smiles, tears and comforting hugs.  
Debbie Shumway, HOV senior vice president, welcomed the crowd and thanked them for coming together for the annual community remembrance event. As always, the highlight was the video photo montage set to music – images of loved ones projected on huge screens set against the night sky. About 700 photos were submitted.
Rounding out the evening were members of The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix, dressed in black tie, who performed two moving songs. As they sang, candles flickered on memory tables with photos of the deceased and lights twinkled on holiday trees decorated with hundreds of paper ornaments bearing inscriptions to loved ones. Chaplain Dave Wilsterman closed the evening with well-chosen words of inspiration.