Love Light Tree lit in honor of Gene Faile
Contact: Tammy G. Love
VP of Business Development
Phone: (336) 651-8116
By Frances Hayes
Wilkes Journal-Patriot Staff
The Love Light Tree, with a 30-year tradition in Wilkes County, was lit in honor of Gene Faile, president/CEO of Wilkes Regional Medical Center (WRMC), in a ceremony Sunday night.
The lighting of the tree marks the beginning of the Christmas season, especially for children. They also particularly enjoyed the colorful Festival of Trees inside the lobby of WRMC.
The Love Light Tree is sponsored by WRMC Auxiliary and is on top of the hospital. The tree was refurbished this year by the WRMC maintenance crew. Over 9,000 new LED lights, which replaced the bulb lights this year, are on the 50-foot tree. They are placed in honor or memory of individuals.
Each light on the body of the tree is $5 for an individual and $10 for a couple. Star points are $100 each and lights within the star are $25 each.
Proceeds from the tree are used for the organization’s many projects, including scholarships or equipment needed at WRMC.
Recently the auxiliary spent $22,000 for chairs in the hospital. New chairs were placed in the waiting rooms on the third floor, skilled nursing and reclining chairs in the intensive care waiting room.
The auxiliary also provides stuffed animals for surgical care patients, especially children patients.
Each year the Love Light Tree is dedicated to an individual or a group who have served the hospital.
The ceremony began inside the WRMC lobby where the Festival of Trees is being held. The lobby was filled with colorful trees created by local groups and bids are still being accepted for them.
The Festival of Trees is sponsored by the Health Foundation and proceeds will go to WRMC.
During the ceremony, Colleen Manolovich, auxiliary president, listed areas of growth at WRMC since Faile became CEO in Dec. 2008.
“We have seen the expansion and renovation of the surgical department, the emergency department, the Heart Center, the organization of the Urgent Care facility for after-hours care, the re-opening of West Wilkes Medical Center and the new medical center to be opened on N.C. 268 East,” said Mrs. Manolovich.
“Due to Gene Faile’s leadership, WRMC has worn many achievement awards and has again received a 5 gold stars of approval from the Joint Commission National Quality Approval,” said Mrs. Manolovich.
Faile received his bachelor of arts degree in accounting and hospital finance from the University of West Florida, where he also received a master of business administration degree.
He served in the U.S. Air Force in a hospital squadron from 1975-1979, said Mrs. Manolovich. Faile’s first job as a CEO was in Bonham, Texas.
“He is active in numerous civic organizations, serves on the finance committee of Wilkesboro Baptist Church and will be the incoming president of the Wilkes Chamber of Commerce,” said Mrs. Manolovich.
Faile and his wife of 39 years, Peggy, have two children, Micah and Rebekah, and two grandchildren. They joined Faile on Sunday as he gave the signal to light the tree.
Also participating in the ceremony were Deborah Sullivan and auxiliary secretary; Helen Eller, auxiliary secretary. Mike Norman provided music and the Rev. Al Andrews gave the invocation and closing prayer.
A reception followed in the hospital lobby.
Past Love Light Tree recipients
Mrs. Eller, read a list of the past honorees of the Love Light Tree.
They are John Wesley Bryan Jr., Norma Stevenson Hubbard, Dr. William Lumsden Bundy, Ruth Long Graham RN, Hugh Durant Stetler, Deloris H. Porter, Alvin A. Sturdivant Jr., Fred J. Schilling I, Russell G. Pearson, Louis M. Kinney and Annette Kinney, Maintenance Department, Dietary Department, Stephen Lee Critz Jr., the David Henson Family, Dr. Jack A. Dawson, Dr. T.R. Bryan Jr., Mark Cullison, Sieglinde Duncan RN, Dr. Duane H. Smith, Barbara Willens, Betty Shelton, Debbie Ferguson, Heather Murphy, Paul Hugger, Dr. John Bond, Arnold Lakey, Dr. John Bennett, WRMC’s 45 surgical nurses and support staff, and Dr. Dariel Rathmell.
Love Light Tree
The Love Light Tree project continues through Christmas and into January.
Names are placed in a Book of Honor that will be on display in the lobby of WRMC during November and December.
All contributions to the Love Light Tree are tax-deductible. For more information call 651-8162.