CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care is partnering with the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce to present the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26 on Main Avenue in downtown Park Rapids, following the Yuletide Sampler.

Enjoy hot cider, hot chocolate and other treats at the Yuletide Sampler from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, as the downtown area decks the halls with wreaths on the carriage lights, trees on every corner and holiday window displays at participating businesses. Freewill offerings from the Yuletide Sampler will be donated to hospice care.

The evening will feature a carol sing-along, marshmallows roasting over fire pits, Santa’s arrival and the countdown to light the beautifully decorated community tree. The tree will stand throughout the season as a symbol of small-town cheer and goodwill, lighting the way to the New Year.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the celebration in person, place an unbreakable ornament on the tree in honor or memory of a loved one or attend virtually via Facebook or www.parkrapids.com.

For the ‘Schu’

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This year’s “Light Up a Life” event honors the memory of John Schumacher.

According to a press release from CHI St. Joseph’s Hospice Care, Schumacher left a mark on the community with his “livin’ the dream” motto, reflecting a commitment to living each day to the fullest, the release states. Even during the hardest days of his battle with cancer, he maintained a positive attitude. His outlook inspires gratitude, compassion, strength and love in the most challenging times – times to be treasured.

“John lived for everyone around him and found his life’s calling in his work, making a positive impact on everyone he met,” said his wife, Bernie Schumacher. “He was a cheerleader for his students and so proud of his loving family. Hospice allowed him to be pain-free, so he could enjoy his last days making memories.”

Bernie praised the hospice team for anticipating the family’s needs, encouraging important conversations and being honest, open, calming, compassionate and good listeners.

“They made us laugh and smile through the most difficult time of our lives,” she said, adding that he always looked forward to visits from his Hospice nurse, a former student-athlete who “got him.”

Hospice care is based on the belief that every person has a right to die pain-free and with dignity, through specialized pain control and skilled symptom management. According to CHI St. Joseph’s Hospice Care, the program has provided compassionate, end-of-life care for Park Rapids area patients for 34 years.

To make a freewill donation, visit chisjh.org/foundation/light-up-a-life or mail to CHI St. Joseph’s Health Foundation, 600 Pleasant Ave., Park Rapids, MN 56470.