Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/16/2021 --The Jubilee of Trees has helped ring in the holidays for nearly four decades in southern Utah. This year's event will be dedicated to the true magic of the holiday season – children.
The annual holiday fundraiser will be held Thursday, Nov. 18, through Saturday, Nov. 20, and benefit children's services at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital.
Due to the COVID pandemic and hospitals at capacity, and to ensure the health and safety of communities served by Intermountain Healthcare, the Jubilee of Trees has been adjusted to a virtual event for this year.
The public is invited to join the event online at stgeorgeregional.org/jubileeoftrees to ensure this special tradition continues uninterrupted, while ensuring the safety of friends, families and neighbors.
Intermountain officials say that community generosity is needed more than ever this year.
"We're honored to dedicate this year's Jubilee of Trees to our efforts to ensure every child receives the right care, at the right time, in the right place," said Patrick Carroll, MD, neonatologist and medical director of Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital. "Increasingly, that 'right place' will be a dedicated pediatric care facility close to each child's own hometown, yet firmly linked to the renowned expertise found at Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital."
The 38th annual Jubilee of Trees will help patients like 8-year-old Raynie.
Raynie was born with congenital heart defect, which was corrected with surgery just before her fifth birthday. Just 18 months later, Raynie was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Raynie's family lives in Bunkerville, Nev., and chose to entrust their daughter's chemotherapy treatments to the caregivers at Utah's St. George Regional Hospital.
"It's the place that feels like home to us," said Raynie's mother, Diana Clark. "When Raynie was diagnosed, the people there were not only doing everything they could for her, they were taking care of me and calming my fears. Her doctor, Mike Marsden, came in and hugged me and cried with me. It was the scariest time in our lives, and we had the most comfort and expert care we ever could have had."
Raynie was flown to Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City for initial treatments. After Raynie came home, her mother was happy Raynie could access cancer treatments in St. George, closer to home. There, Raynie became known as an always-smiling, exuberant child.
"Normally, when our caregivers meet kids in this age group with cancer, the kids can be very sick, shy, and reserved. Not Raynie," Dr. Carroll said. "Raynie lifted everyone around her with her energy and smiles, singing and dancing. Raynie loves rainbows, and that's what her presence always brought – a vibrant rainbow – and that's what she became known for."
When Raynie completed her cancer treatments, caregivers threw a rainbow party, complete with streamers, special dessert, dancing around the treatment room, and lots of hugs, high fives, and happy tears.
"Raynie absolutely loved her child life specialist, Michael Robertson, on the St. George Regional Hospital pediatrics floor. The times in treatment when she'd feel so terrible, if he was there, she was excited to be there. He always had something for her, and was so good at talking her through being scared," her mother said. "There were so many caring people. It just doesn't get any better than Intermountain Healthcare."
Patrons of the Jubilee of Trees will help children like Raynie access pediatric care through the power of an innovative, integrated pediatric network.
This effort is part of Intermountain Healthcare's vision to build a model health system for children, which will bring the expertise of Primary Children's specialists to children throughout the region via telemedicine, digital health services, dispatched emergency room services, and more.
"Southern Utah's incredible giving spirit has helped expand our pediatric programs over the years and will continue into the future," Dr. Carroll said. "We seek continued support more than ever as we host Jubilee of Trees in a virtual format – and invite the community to help give the gift of health and happiness to children and families by supporting the Jubilee of Trees."
Jubilee of Trees, an event for Intermountain Foundation at St. George Regional Hospital, is a beloved holiday tradition that showcases beautifully adorned Christmas trees and wreaths created by local designers, artists, individuals, businesses, and community groups. It also includes one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts made with love by dedicated volunteers, and a bevy of silent auction items available to bid and track easily online.
For more information, visit stgeorgeregional.org/jubileeoftrees.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Located in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, the Intermountain Medical Group with some 2,700 employed physicians and advanced care practitioners, a health plans division called SelectHealth, Homecare, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For updates, see https://intermountainhealthcare.org/news.