Hundreds Gather for 33rd Annual
McLeod Hospice Tree Lighting


The family of Reverend Charles “Pete” Cooper light the trees during the 33rd Annual McLeod Hospice Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 6.

McLeod Hospice celebrated its 33rd Annual “A Light for Someone You Love” Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, December 6, at McLeod Regional Medical Center.

During the ceremony, the family of Reverend Charles “Pete” Cooper lit the trees. On behalf of the family, his daughter, Lyles Cooper Lyles, offered remarks on how much McLeod Hospice meant to them during Pete’s end of life journey. “As the minister at St. John’s Episcopal Church for almost 20 years, my dad spent a lot of time with folks at the end of their lives. In our community, many of those families were fortunate to experience the care and compassion from the McLeod Hospice staff. The genuine concern that every member of the McLeod team showed my dad and my family can’t be measured in tangible terms.

“The McLeod Hospice House is an amazing asset for our community, but beyond the facility, technology and beautiful gardens, they have a top notch group of professionals who make a true difference in many people’s lives every day. From the doctors and nurses to administrators and support staff, we will always be truly thankful for the comfort you brought our family. Today, we celebrate my dad’s birth and his legacy, and tomorrow we will remember his last day with us. Our memories of his final days are filled with comfort and love thanks to the staff of McLeod Hospice,” added Lyles.

In addition to the lighting of the trees, a musical presentation was provided by the Savannah Grove Baptist Church Praise Team. Dr. Allie Brooks also recognized the donors who sponsored the tree lighting. During his remarks, Dr. Brooks said, “For 33 consecutive years, the McLeod Hospice Caregiving Team and the families of patients served through the years jointly celebrate the accomplished mission for comfort, peacefulness, understanding and care through this ceremony. Thanks to the medical professionals, spiritual leaders and dedicated unselfish volunteers, we hold our heads high this evening, knowing that in spite of, ‘All is Well.’ The lights remind us that ‘Thy word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths.’ Because of the work, past and present, that many have provided for the care and comfort of our family members and friends in their sunset of life, we can truly say ‘All is Well.’”

Each year, during the tree lighting ceremony, Joan Pavy, Administrator of McLeod Hospice, recognizes an individual or group for their dedication to McLeod Hospice by honoring them with the Spirit of Hospice award. The 2018 recipient of the Spirit of Hospice award was presented to Dr. Vipul Shah, Medical Director of McLeod Hospice and Palliative Care.

The quality of the McLeod Hospice program does not rest with any one individual or volunteer, according to Pavy. Instead there are many individuals and groups who give generously of themselves. Each one is important, but all are united by a single goal: their commitment to compassionate Hospice care. There are those, however, who have gone the extra mile and who have continually been a faithful supporter of Hospice. It is with this in mind that McLeod Hospice created the Spirit of Hospice Award in 2001.

Proceeds raised through the tree lighting directly benefit McLeod Hospice. “The Light for Someone You Love” program is sponsored by the McLeod Health Foundation to directly fund items needed for the McLeod Hospice House, to help patients remain comfortable in their homes, provide bereavement care for families being served as well as others in the community, and to offer the children’s grief support program, Camp Jessie’s Kids.

McLeod Hospice serves patients in Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Horry, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Sumter and Williamsburg counties.

While the lighted trees will brighten the community this season, the gifts they represent will help bring the light of hope to McLeod Hospice patients and their families all year long.