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St. Peter's Health holds annual Light a Life fundraiser

Posted at 6:48 PM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 20:48:57-05

St. Peter’s Health Foundation held their annual “Light a Life” fundraiser for their non-profit hospice program on Thursday at the Helena Civic Center.

Now in its 26th year, the event raises funds to help provide hospice service regardless of a family's financial situation.

“It’s the only fundraiser we do for St. Peter’s Hospice,” said St. Peter’s Health Foundation project manager Bennett MacIntyre. “Money can be used to purchase equipment, train staff or anything else hospice might need.”

Light a Life features the lighting of the 80-foot evergreen tree in front of the Civic Center and a candle lighting ceremony.

This year’s spokesperson is Mary Runkel, who has been a hospice nurse for most of her professional career.

Runkel said she didn’t fully realize how much of a boon hospice can be until her mother required the service.

“Being a nurse myself, it’s interesting how much support I required even though I had been a hospice nurse,” she said. “The amount of caring, the amount of compassion, the amount of support that you get from hospice is different than you get from anybody in your family.”

Since Light a Life began, community members have donated more than $2million to the in home care program. The campaign runs through the end of December and has already raised more than $65,000.

Every year more than 200 people in use St. Peter’s Hospice. More information about the program can be found on their website.