Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

December 26, 2006 > Light Up the Holidays!

Light Up the Holidays!

The 11th annual Trees of Angels campaign has been a rousing success so far.  The season is not yet over, however, and you still have time to contribute to this community effort to raise awareness of hospice services, which provide compassionate care for people in the final stages of life.

Trees of Angels was started in the Tri-City area by Al Bernardin, owner of several local McDonald’s franchises, and the Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation (WHHF) as part of a joint commitment to supporting hospice care.  Washington Hospital works with Pathways Hospice to ensure the comfort and dignity of people nearing the end of life.

Hundreds of guests have attended the tree-lighting ceremonies in Fremont, Union City and Newark. The 2006 Trees of Angels campaign kicked off with the first tree-lighting ceremony of the season on November 9 at the Fremont Hub. 

The second ceremony, on November 27, was held at the site of the first tree lighting 11 years ago – at Bernardin’s McDonald’s restaurant on Mission Boulevard and Interstate 680 in Fremont.  About 150 guests attended, with choral music entertainment provided by Mission San Jose High School Chamber Chorale and San Leandro High School Notables.  Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman took honors lighting the tree.

More than 100 guests attended the Nov. 29th tree lighting ceremony at Washington Hospital’s new Nakamura Clinic in Union City.  Washington Hospital sponsored this joint event with the Union City Chamber of Commerce, providing attendees with the chance to mingle with each other over refreshments while supporting the Trees of Angels.

Breakfast with Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald took place at Washington West Auditoriums in Fremont on Saturday, Dec. 3.  A sold-out crowd of over 400 guests enjoyed breakfast from McDonald’s, a magic show from Ronald McDonald, and a photo session with Santa and Mrs. Claus. 

The final Trees of Angels lighting ceremony took place December 14th at the Silliman Center in Newark.  The special tree lighting ceremony was followed by entertainment provided by the Newark Symphonic Winds.

“The Foundation would like to thank all of the people who have volunteered their time to help make these events possible,” says WHHF Executive Director Brent Hodson.  “Thank you to all who attended the events in support of local hospice care.”

Hodson notes that people who still wish to contribute to this important community service may still do so.  “During this season of thanksgiving and family celebrations, a gift to hospice care is a wonderful way to help terminally ill patients be with their loved ones during the holidays.”

Your tax-deductible donation of $10 or more will help ensure that local individuals and families know about and have access to hospice care.  Each donation to light a symbolic bulb in the Trees of Angels campaign shines in honor or in memory of a loved one.  Donors who contribute $50 or more will receive a special angel tree ornament and recognition in the Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation’s newsletter.

To donate, please make checks payable to Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation and mail to WHHF, 2000 Mowry Avenue, Fremont, CA 94538.

For further information about Trees of Angels, please call (510) 791-3428, email, or visit   For more information about hospice services, please call (888) 755-7855.

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