Orinda’s Tree of Lights Brightens the Sky Once Again

(Sally Hogarty, Photographer)
Although the crowds won’t be in attendance at the Hospice Tree Lighting this year, the oak tree in Village Square will still shine with bright lights from Dec. 5 through the end of the year.

    For the 34th year, Orinda’s majestic oak tree in the Orinda Village shopping center will again sparkle with hundreds of lights honoring loved ones from Dec. 5 through the end of the year. This year’s ceremony, however, will be virtual.
    In previous years, the Tree of Lights event in Orinda offered a time to be with friends and family, listen to the elementary school choirs conducted by Ron Pickett and, of course, greet Santa Claus as he arrived on a fire engine.
    While large gatherings of Orindans enjoying hot chocolate won’t be happening this year, Friends of Hospice Orinda has coordinated with Hospice East Bay to create a memorable online event. Scheduled for Dec. 5 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., the evening’s agenda includes several local speakers, including Orinda Mayor Darlene Gee and Hospice East Bay CEO Cindy Hatton, a reading of the names for whom lights have been purchased and a performance by music therapist Brittany Tachkov.
    “These ceremonies have provided a way for families and friends to honor their loved ones and find solace in the symbolism of light as the names of their loved ones are read,” said Hospice Special Events Coordinator Ann Mimiaga.
    The funds raised by these ceremonies make it possible for Hospice to provide hospice care to patients not covered by insurance. “Your support also allows us to offer additional services and programs, such as music therapy and children’s grief programs,” Mimiaga added.
    Those who purchase a light will be invited to a Zoom Webinar on Dec. 5. The event will also be available to anyone via Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Hospiceoftheeastbay or through the website http://www.hospiceeastbay.org.
    “We will also be recording the event for those who might not have a strong enough WIFI connection, and we’ll make it available to everyone through our website,” said Mimiaga.
    For more information, call Hospice East Bay at 925.887.5678.

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