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The Civista Health Foundationís Christmas Tree of Life will shine Dec. 5 at Civista Medical Center and remain illuminated during the holiday season.

Each year, the foundation selects a community member to serve as its honorary tree lighter.

This year, La Plata business owner Josh Joson will light the tree in memory of his late wife, Lisa, who died in August after a battle with cancer.

Each sparkling light on the tree honors an individual, living or deceased, who has touched lives.

While many choose to memorialize family and friends, others select a teacher, mentor, coworker or loved one to honor.

Some community organizations use the program to acknowledge clubs as a whole or to memorialize past members of organizations.

A donation of $15 will secure a single light on the tree in honor or in memory of an individual, business or a community organization.

Donors also can make a one-time gift of $100, which will illuminate a special angel perpetual light.

The angels acknowledge the lifetime gifts each holiday season, and the honoreeís name will be acknowledged in the program this year and every year in the future.

New this year, the foundation will offer a seasonal luminary for a donation of $50 that will be displayed in the hospital's Healing Garden on the hospitalís campus and remain illuminated during the holiday season.

The foundation acknowledges the names of all donors and honorees in a program booklet.

In addition, each donor will receive a keepsake acknowledgement card to share with honorees or family and friends of the deceased.

The foundation invites the community to attend the illumination ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at the front entrance of the medical center on Garrett Ave. in La Plata.

Following the ceremony, guests can enjoy holiday refreshments and festive music.

Donors can complete and fax to 301-934-0384 the form found in the Maryland Independent or make a gift online through the foundationís website at www.civista.org/foundation.htm or call 301-609-4132.

The foundation must receive all gifts no later than Nov. 28 to be included in the program.