This wreath is available only by auction via Facebook, allowing people too far away to visit the VGH Tree Walk to participate.

The Simpsons, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and the Iowa Hawkeyes are among the themes of some of the Christmas trees already on display in the lobby and adjoining halls of Virginia Gay Hospital for the annual Tree Walk. Other entries are in memory of loved ones, including Veterinarian Oran”Doc” Corbett and the Urbana 5. There are many other trees and wreaths and even a painting of Santa Claus made by an artist with Vinton connections.

Organizers expect more than 50 entries by the time all of the trees donated by hospital departments, VGH employees and other have been put in place. Silent auction bidding for each will continue until 5 pm. Tuesday, Nov. 21. Farmers Savings Bank & Trust of Vinton and Traer is the sponsor of this year’s event. Funds raised will go toward two different projects: 3D mammography imaging equipment and a forgiveable loan program that recently began at VGH. In the past year, eight VGH staff members have each received $2,500 in forgivable loans to help ease the burden of their educational expenses.

Organizer Kim Swore says many more trees will join those already on display. She expects to have a complete list of all entries within the next few days.

The Tree Walk began in 2010, and has continued each year since then. However, VGH Foundation Director Robin Martin explains that the Tree of Lights campaign is now in its 25th year.

This spoon is part of a kitchen-themed tree.

“This year we celebrate the 25th Anniversary Tree of Lights Annual Campaign which began with Ruth Mayhew’s vision in 1992 to commemorate loved ones and fellowship during the holiday season,” Martin explains. “Due to the legacy of Ruth Mayhew and La Theresa Music, Tree of Lights has supported the acquisition of equipment and physical improvements to Virginia Gay Hospital and Family Medical Clinics over the years. The campaign will support the purchase of 3D Mammography and forgivable loans this year.”

Martin also explains that 3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis) would offer patients a leading edge clinically proven, more accurate mammogram that would give them a chance at earlier breast cancer detection. When breast cancer is found early, more treatment options are available.

Breast Tomosynthesis is an advanced mammography application that generates 3-dimensional images of the breast, allowing radiologists to examine details of the breast tissue 1mm at a time, free from the confusion of overlapping tissues. Greater accuracy can potentially reduce unnecessary tests and resulting in great efficiency. Tomosynthesis is covered by Medicare as well as other insurance companies, such as United Healthcare and Wellmark.

New to VGH this year is the opportunity for staff and potential staff to apply for a forgivable loan to support continued education.

“Investing in our staff supports Virginia Gay Hospital’s mission in providing quality care for the communities we serve,” said Martin.

Facebook auction in progress

To encourage more particiapation, and to extend the Tree Walk opportunity to those who live too far away from Vinton to visit and bid in person, this year’s walk includes one auction being conducted solely via Facebook. See the 20-inch wreath, made by Emily Cashman and her staff at Nature’s Corner, and sponsored by Monkeythis of Vinton, and bid on it HERE.

See more photos HERE.

List of contributors to the 2017 Tree of Lights Tree Walk

Johns Quick Shop

VGH Nursing and Rehab, Dietary and Social Services


VS High School Bowling Team

Kim Swore, VGH Respiratory Therapy

Rick Lazenby and Suzy Robison

Barron Chiropractic and Stacie Marzen, Massage Therapist

Koops Auto

Rehab Visions

LaReyna Restaurant-Carmen Legaspi

North Benton Ambulance and Tina Eden, Scentsy

Taya Witten, Lance Randall, Lawrin Dedrick, Wesley Venenga

Nancy Hlas, VGH Respiratory Therapy

Mel Cervaney-Kirkwood Respiratory Therapy Faculty

Farmers Savings Bank-Sponsorship and contributor

Linda Shanahan-Mutert, VGH Respiratory Therapy Dept.

Nora Vaupel, VGH Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab Dept.

Kim Frank, VGH Human Resources

Courtney Kechum-VGH Sleep Lab

Greg Ryan, VGH Respiratory Therapy Dept.

Stephenson Collision

Ann Harrison, artist Irene Barnes

VGH Home Health Dept.

Cedar Valley Country Quilters

LaGrange Pharmacy

Center Point Foods


Clipper Corner

Mossman-Mossman Law Firm

Wilson Hite Insurance

Kyleigh Brandt

Kacena Family Christmas Tree Farm

Debra Bennett, VGH Respiratory Therapy Dept.


Kathy Labs, VGH Acute Nursing Dept.

Eric and Val Struve

Tammy Madsen, VGH ER Hospitalist

Kurt and Lu Karr

Deb Zmolik, VGH clinic receptionist

Anwar Yousuf, VGH Respiratory Therapy Dept.

Eden Community Aid Club Members

Taylor and Peyton Frank

Robin Martin

Susie Albert and Stacy Nabholz

Kurts Enterprises

Vinton Guild of Fine Arts

Dan and Anna Delagardelle, VGH Nuclear Medicine Dept.