Share the Light honors friends, family

MEEKER I Make plans to be downtown next Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 5:30 p.m. for the annual “Share the Light” holiday event in Meeker. The trees in front of the courthouse will be lit for the season, accompanied by music performed by the youth choir, free cookies, hot cocoa, and a fireworks display immediately after the tree lighting ceremony.
“The Share the Light campaign is about pausing and recognizing our loved ones and at the same time supporting various needs in our community,” said Pioneers Medical Center development manager Margie Joy.
The project is supported through the sale of Christmas light bulbs for $5 each. “If you want to recognize a loved one you buy a light bulb and send in the name of your loved one. During the month of December the trees in front of the courthouse are lit up, and next to the trees is a banner displaying the names of our loved ones,” Joy explained.
Since its inception in 2008, the Share the Light campaign has helped fund a new gazebo at the Walbridge Wing, supported Meeker’s Meals on Wheels program, and provided almost $2,400 for the Marvine Ranch Cancer Screening Fund for low-income and uninsured residents.
“2011 is about helping our residents who have dreams of becoming doctors or nurses to attain their dream and offer them scholarships.  One of the biggest challenges in healthcare is recruiting  knowledgeable and talented staff members. The biggest barrier is having people be able to afford the education it takes to become a healthcare professional,” Joy said.
Pioneers Medical Center established the Grow Your Own program in 2008, which provides avenues — scholarships, internships, shadowing programs, nursing assistant training, and more — so that local residents can pursue healthcare careers.
“This year we will launch the Kris Borchard Strive for Excellence scholarship program. This program will focus on graduate education in the medical areas. It will assist those accepted into medical or nursing school,” Joy explained.
The program is named in honor of Kris Borchard, who lost her fight with pancreatic cancer earlier this year.
“Borchard served for 25 years on the ambulance for Meeker Fire and Rescue, and she gave hours of volunteer time to Pioneers Medical Center serving on the board of directors and  as president of the board.”
This year, all proceeds from the Christmas light bulb sale will support the Kris Borchard Strive for Excellence Scholarship fund.
Although the banner has already gone to print, residents who want to participate in Share the Light this year but who didn’t get to buy a light bulb, can still support the campaign. The Pioneers Healthcare Foundation will be selling snowflakes to hang on the trees for $5 each.