NEWTON, NJ – – The annual C. Edward McCracken Festival of Lights will mark its 24th year kicking off the holidays on the campus of Newton Medical Center, on Saturday, November 14.
As part of the hospital’s “’15 for Women – Year of Women’s Health” campaign, this year’s event also will be dedicated to women throughout the region, with honorees representing local women who have made a difference in the lives of their families and communities. Guests at the event will be provided with faux candles to hold during the annual tree lighting ceremony, to help illuminate the evening of remembrance.
“As we enter the holiday season, this event is the perfect opportunity to remember loved ones, and this year we’d like to shine a little extra light on the women who have made a difference in our lives,” said Joe DiPaolo, president of Newton Medical Center.
This year’s event will also feature additional changes, including:
- An expanded area for children’s events, including caroling, visits by Santa Claus and other characters and other family activities. This area will be located behind the Romano Conference and Education Center at the hospital. At 6:15p.m., attendees will be led by the characters to the front of the hospital, for the annual lighting of the trees and spectacular fireworks display
- All parking for the event will be located at nearby Sussex County Community College, 1 College Road in Newton. Shuttles to and from the hospital and college will run throughout the event
- A reception for donors and supporters of the event will be held in the hospital lobby
“The changes we’ve made to the event truly reflect how much it has grown from a modest gathering of hospital supporters into an annual tradition beloved by families throughout the region,” said Megan Sandow, chief development officer for the Newton Medical Center Foundation.
Edward McCracken, a respected member of the Sussex County business community and supporter of Newton Medical Center (previously known as Newton Memorial Hospital), began the Festival of Lights more than two decades ago with the simple, humble desire to brighten the hospital campus for patients and visitors during the holiday season. The event caught on and grew each year, including the addition of the fireworks show in the fifth year of the event, which by then had become a community tradition. Following his passing, the event was carried on by McCracken’s family and the Newton Medical Center Foundation.
The trees are decorated by sparkling strings of lights purchased by supporters of the hospital and donated in honor of loved ones. Donors may also sponsor the evergreen trees, wreaths, and other elements of the event
Proceeds from the event will benefit the “’15 For Women – Year of Women’s Health” campaign, which throughout 2015 has highlighted women’s role as the navigators of their families’ health care and the need for women to care for their own health and wellness. The centerpiece of this campaign is the new Center for Breast Health, which opened in late October. It is the only comprehensive breast center located in Sussex County, addressing all of a woman’s breast health needs, including state-of-the-art technology, resources, education, support and follow up care in a spa-like, caring environment. The highlight of these services will be digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). Sometimes referred to as a three-dimensional mammogram, DBT is a diagnostic tool that can detect small breast tumors, while decreasing false positives and the need for patient recalls.
The event is sponsored by Smith-McCracken & Wood Funeral Homes as well as the Brennan and Hazan families. The fireworks display is sponsored by the emergency physicians of Newton Medical Center, Emergency Medical Associates (EMA).
Visitors can support this event by purchasing a string of lights or a fully lit tree. Sponsorships for these and other categories are also available. Attendees may also enter a raffle for a Christmas Fantasy in New York for two, which includes two tickets to Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, transportation to New York City and dinner for two at a prestigious restaurant.
For more information, contact the Newton Medical Center Foundation at 973-579-8309.
Additional 2015 Festival of Lights sponsors include:
- Atlantic Health System
- Peter R. & Cynthia K. Kellogg Foundation
- Hi-Touch Business Services
- Wicklow & Laurano Landscaping, LLC
Children’s Tent Sponsors
- 102.3 WSUS
- Atlantic Ambulance Corporation
- William Sands Finch
- RoNetco Supermarkets, Inc.
Holiday Wreath Sponsors
- Eckroth Planning Group, Inc.
- Kindred Hospital
About Newton Medical Center
Newton Medical Center, based in Newton, NJ, has been providing care to the community since 1932 and serves the people of Sussex and Warren counties in New Jersey, Pike County in Pennsylvania and southern Orange County in New York. It is home to the Center for Breast Health, the only center of its kind in Sussex County, addressing all of a woman’s breast health needs including state of the art technology, resources, education, support and follow up care. The hospital received the Outstanding Achievement Award and Three-Year Approval with Commendation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The hospital received The Joint Commission advanced certification for Advanced Primary Stroke, and is the recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®– Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite. Newton Medical Center is part of Atlantic Health System, one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey. As a trusted network of caring, our promise to our communities is that anyone who enters Atlantic Health System will receive the right care, the right quality, at the right place, at the right time and at the right cost.