KALAMAZOO, MI – For many women in southwest Michigan, going without much-needed mammography services is a risk many feel they have no choice but to take. Financial gifts and support from the community through the Borgess Tree of Love will soon enable these women to receive a lifesaving gift – free of charge.
Numerous area businesses and individuals are lined up to support the annual Borgess Tree of Love tree lighting ceremony at Borgess Medical Center, presented by the Borgess Foundation. The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place at 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5, in the Lawrence Education Center Auditorium. Borgess-Pipp Hospital in Plainwell and Borgess at Woodbridge Hills in Portage will turn on their Tree of Love lights on Dec. 5 as well.
Those attending the tree lighting can enjoy hors d’oeuvres and desserts from area restaurants including Ample Pantry, Bravo!, Chinn Chinn, Cupcake Zoo, Four Roses Café, Gull Lake Country Club, Off the Cuff Catering, Radisson Catering, and Water Street Coffee Joint. Wine tastings will be offered by Warner Vineyards. Music and entertainment will be provided by the popular Borgess Resounding Spirit Choir, and a Kalamazoo favorite, the Opus IV String Quartet.
A brief program will include a tree blessing and lighting of the trees assisted by 2013 Tree of Love physician champions: Lauren Mann, MD; and Kathleen Wimbish, MD, Breast Imaging & Intervention, Borgess Health. Linda Root, vice president of mission integration, Borgess Health, will also be among the program participants.
Proceeds from the campaign directly support Borgess Tree of Love, an endowment fund that provides lifesaving diagnostic mammography services to area low-income women.
Funding Better Breast Health
In 1985, the Borgess Service League launched the first Borgess Tree of Love. Community donations to the Tree of Love campaign have helped thousands of low-income women without health insurance in southwest Michigan receive free mammograms and diagnostic mammography services. By contributing to the campaign, donors can also recognize someone important in their lives. Each honoree is represented by a light on a tree and mailed an acknowledgement card.
Donations are still needed to reach the goal of $60,000 in order to fund mammogram and diagnostic mammography services. “We are excited about this year’s tree lighting ceremony,” said Tony McDonnell, chief development officer, Borgess Foundation. “So far, donors have already contributed $45,000 toward the goal. Many of those gifts are made in memory or in honor of loved ones which are represented by the pink lights on the trees throughout Borgess Health.”
The top sponsors of the Borgess Tree of Love campaign and tree lighting ceremony include Cole Automotive Management, Premier Radiology, The Surgical Group of Southwest Michigan, Joanne and Jack Lawrence, and Julia and Bill VanDomelen.
Supporters of the Borgess Tree of Love campaign can also help save lives in another way: blood donation. On Dec. 23, 2013, Michigan Blood will hold a blood drive from noon to 6 p.m., in the Lawrence Education Center at Borgess. Michigan Blood will contribute $10 to the Tree of Love campaign for every person who donates blood during this blood drive. To make an appointment, contact 1-866-MIBLOOD or visit MIBlood.org.
For information on the 2013 Tree of Love campaign, call (269) 226.8100 or visit treeoflove.borgess.com.