By Lin Sue Cooney
Director of Community Engagement, Hospice of the Valley
The global pandemic has changed the way we work, play and live and, no doubt, will alter the way we celebrate the holiday season.
Hospice of the Valley traditionally holds an annual community event right before Thanksgiving—a special time of coming together to remember our loved ones who have passed but still live in our hearts.
This season, Light Up A Life will be a virtual event. Instead of a gathering of nearly 2,000 at Steele Indian School Park, families can tune into AZTV Channel 7 and watch the program from the comfort and safety of home.
Light Up A Life 2020 will air from 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday, November 22.
As always, families can anticipate seeing their loved one’s picture appear in a photographic montage set to beautiful music.
Chris and Teresa Mata attended last year’s event to honor Teresa’s late mom. “It’s a very helpful part of healing,” Chris said as they watched the tribute together. “It brings back a lot of good memories.”
This year, the lovely voices of the Valley Youth Theatre Choir will kick off and end the program, with unique renditions of iconic songs “Memories” and “What the World Needs Now is Love.”
To maintain safe distancing, the students will prerecord the songs from different locations simultaneously during a Zoom video conference. VYT Artistic Director Bobb Cooper will coordinate the production.
“We are thrilled to be able to continue this meaningful tradition as the holidays draw near,” Hospice of the Valley Executive Director Debbie Shumway says. “It’s a special time for so many in our community, and we hope this new format will allow even more families to participate virtually in this beautiful evening of remembrance.”
Everyone is welcome to submit a loved one’s photo for Light Up A Life’s memorial tribute. The deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, November 2. For details, call Hospice of the Valley at 602-530-6992 or email LUAL@hov.org.