ANTIGONISH, N.S. - One of the first hints that the holiday season in Antigonish isn’t too far away is the launch of the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home Foundation’s annual Lights of Love campaign, which is now up and running.
“It’s now more than two decades old,” campaign co-chair Bruce MacDonald said of Lights of Love reaching year 21.
MacDonald noted the heartwarming ceremony, which concludes the campaign and always proves to be a well-attended and poignant event, will take place Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., in the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home chapel.
“The St. Ninian’s Choir will be there so there will be some seasonal music,” MacDonald said of the event, a perfect kick-off to the season of giving.
“Residents of the home, family members of both current and past residents, and the public in general … it’s open to all. And there is a nice small social in the cafeteria afterwards.”
The most stirring part of the ceremony is when the names of the loved ones, for whom bulbs/lights have purchased in memory of, are read off.
Bulbs are purchased for the R. K. MacDonald Nursing Home Christmas tree.
“There is no limit to the number of lights a person can purchase. Tax receipts are available upon request and cards can be sent to individuals in whose name you have donated. Contributions can also be made in memory of loved ones who have passed away,” a passage on the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home website – rkmacdonald.ca – reads.
“Donations can be made in the following amounts (light bulbs); white $10, yellow $20, green $30, red $50, blue $100, silver $200 and gold $500.”
Every year, the campaign targets a specific project or piece of equipment needed by the home and this year it’s a therapeutic bath system.
“The R.K. has four systems in total and they’ve replaced three of the four in recent years. There is one more to be replaced so we’re raising funds for that,” MacDonald said. “They were all approximately 20 years old and their cost is in the range of $50,000 to $55,000, a fairly substantial expenditure.”
The mail out part of the campaign has begun and MacDonald noted people can drop into the R.K. to purchase bulbs and/or make a donation as well.
He noted that starting this year, online donations can be made through the website.
“So if there are family members who are not in the local area and want to make a donation; it’s up and working now,” he said. “All the information for that would be on the webpage.”
MacDonald said having the online donation opportunity in place has been a plan for a few years, but only recently has a system which allowed that, without a fee, become available.
“A lot of the online services would take a cut; this is an organization that provides a service particularly for charitable organizations which are raising funds,” he said.