18th Annual Gift of Light Gift of Love Campaign Tree Lighting Ceremony
JOPLIN, Mo. — A bright display marked the beginning of Ronald McDonald House Charities’ annual Gift of Light Gift of Love campaign Thursday, November 7. The lighting of a 20′ Christmas tree at Joplin’s Northpark Mall kicks off the 18th year of the campaign.
The campaign’s theme this year is “Once Upon a Christmas.” Officials with Ronald McDonald House say the theme symbolizes the storybook nostalgia we have for the past.
Along with the tree lighting, Missouri Southern State University Madrigal Singers performed several Christmas classics. Dancers from Briley Performing Arts Company also performed at the ceremony.
Following the event, there was a holiday decor and ornament sale in the former Gymboree store location featuring items from past tree-lighting events.
Funds raised from the sale go towards Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room at Mercy Hospital.
The official tree lighter for the event was the Matney family. Wade Matney was born three weeks early in January 2012 and was admitted into the NICU. His parents, Mary and Michael, and sister, Ella, stayed at the Ronald McDonald House at the time. Michael Matney also serves on the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States.
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