HANCOCK - Portage Health began providing scholarships to students seeking training for health care-related professions 21 years ago, and the tradition continues with the health system's Lights of Love program.
Robbyn Lucier, Portage Health director of human resources, said people can buy Christmas tree lights for $5 each in the name of someone who has died or is still living.
"They can either memorialize someone or honor a loved one," she said.
Portage Hospital Auxiliary President Jeanette Medlyn speaks to the crowd during the 2011 Portage Health Lights of Love event. (Daily Mining Gazette photo by Kurt Hauglie)
Lucier said there will be a name-reading ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 12 in the Portage Health conference room, and in order to have a name read and for the name to be placed on a poster, which will be displayed in the lobby of the hospital on Campus Drive in Hancock, the lights must be purchased no later than Friday. However, lights can still be purchased after that date until Dec. 12.
Besides the reading of the Lights of Love names, Lucier said wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served at the Dec. 12 ceremony.
"We decided to move (to the conference room from the lobby) this year and make it an evening event," she said.
Since 1991, Lucier said Portage Health has given out 40 scholarships. The size of the scholarships depends on how much is raised with the Lights of Love, but last year five $1,000 scholarships were given to students in health care fields.
"We would hope to award more than five this year," she said. "They have to be at least one year into their schooling."
Those receiving the scholarships must be from Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw or Ontonagon counties, Lucier said.
Lucier said the date for applying for the scholarships will be announced in early spring, and the deadline to apply will be April 1.