People are already taking action to ensure the hospital grounds are as festive as ever, this December.

Linda Peters is Executive Director with the Bethesda Foundation. She says that generous community members are already calling in to sponsor trees for this year’s Gifts of Light fundraising campaign.

“It warms my heart to know people are thinking about the Bethesda Foundation, thinking about supporting health care in our community, and are thinking about honoring loved ones by sponsoring a tree.”

Every year, the Bethesda Foundation hosts its Gifts of Light campaign. Funds raised go to purchase much-needed health care equipment for the Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach and to enhance various health care services as well.  Health care services like mental health supports or primary care supports.

Peters says the fundraising campaign not only serves to light up the trees at the hospital but also ensures festive red trees appear on light standards along the median of highways 12 and 52 through Steinbach. She explains the red trees are a sponsorship option many choose if they wish to honor multiple people.

There are many reasons one may wish to sponsor a tree, either on the hospital grounds or along the median. Many honor the memory of loved ones who have passed. Others sponsor trees in order to honor those they know who work in health care.  Some folks do it to bring some cheer to those spending time in the hospital, or for the residents living at Bethesda Place.  Sometimes trees are sponsored by grandparents with their grandchildren’s names on the sign.

“Throughout December and January, health care workers come to work in the dark and they go home in the dark,” conveys Peters. “It's really nice to have the lights shining brightly, to give them a bit of a lift as they leave or arrive.”

Peters adds that others have sponsored their trees early to request a specific location, and this has added to the great response the Bethesda Foundation has already seen to their Gifts of Light fundraising campaign this year.

“There's always a project we need to raise money for,” shares Peters. “In the past, we’ve built a Cancer Care Centre, Crisis Stabilization Unit, and Primary Care Centre.  We’ve raised money for a new Emergency Dept. and to refurbish the Healing Garden at the hospital.  Recently we raised the funds needed for the community contribution required for the Rest Haven expansion. Money raised always goes toward healthcare projects here in our community.”

Bethesda Foundation invites everyone to join us at our tree lighting ceremony, which will be happening on the hospital grounds in Steinbach on Sunday, December 3rd, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

“We will have hot dogs and hot chocolate, wagon rides, and fireworks, a lot of family fun for everyone!” enthuses Peters. “And some caroling, definitely.”

The lights at Bethesda Hospital

While sponsorships and donations are accepted by the Bethesda Foundation at all times, ideally sponsorships will be sent in well before the tree lighting on December 3rd, so that signs can be ordered and set up, so the community can see them at the ceremony.

“It's important to have health care close to home, and Gifts of Light is a great opportunity to support much-needed health care projects in our community,” says Peters. “But it's also just a great thing to do for people who are in the hospital or those who are visiting them, those who are the living at the personal care home – having the hospital grounds lit up is just a real sign of hope and healing for them as well.”

To sponsor a tree to browse sponsorship opportunities, please visit