Celebrating the Tree of Lights


By Julie Fraser

Wesley Homes celebrated the holidays with the Tree of Lights, honoring loved ones and our communities.

Wesley Homes’ Tree of Lights is an annual tradition that provides our communities the opportunity to ring in the holiday season with cheer and generosity. Through traditions such as the Tree of Lights, we come together as a family to celebrate our goodwill, compassion, love and joy.

dsc_0274-webThe holiday celebrations at both Wesley Homes campuses kicked off with speakers, including Wesley Homes President and CEO Kevin Anderson and Foundation Executive Director Susan McConnell. Speaking at the Des Moines campus was Executive Director Alex Candalla, resident Dave Ernst, Des Moines Mayor Matt Piña, Des Moines City Manager Michael Matthias and Des Moines City Council Member Vic Pennington. Wesley Homes Lea Hill opened with beautiful music from resident Sue Carson followed by words from Kevin Anderson and Susan McConnell. Chaplain Nancy Ross then gave a warm opening prayer for the tree lighting by Director of Facility Operations Ken Canonica.

Guests at the Lea Hill and Des Moines campuses were treated to an evening of nostalgia and merriment, which included a tree lighting ceremony, Santa Claus, the New Community Victorian Carolers, the Wesley Encores resident mixed chorus and plenty of desserts! It was a fun evening for residents, family members and friends of Wesley Homes.

With the success of the 2016 Tree of Lights last week, family and friends are continuing to celebrate their beloved through gifts to Wesley Homes Foundation. Ornaments continue to be hung and it’s not too late to make a donation in honor of a loved one.

dsc_0194-webThe Tree of Lights continues to be an opportunity to collectively strengthen our communities. A beautiful example of this is the quilt donated each year as a drawing fundraiser by the Des Moines Needlecrafters. This year’s special quilt was a labor of love pieced by Velna Steiner, Wesley Homes’ 101 year old pride and joy. Thank you Needlecrafters and Velna for your generosity!

Proceeds from the drawing for the quilt go towards the Des Moines Circle of Concern, a fund established to support residents who have exhausted their resources through no fault of their own. Thank you to all who purchased tickets and supported the present and future residents of Wesley Homes. Congratulations to Sue Conrad, daughter of Gardens resident Paulie Trepus, for winning the quilt this year!

From the staff of Wesley Homes Foundation we offer our sincere gratitude to all who participated in the Tree of Lights this year. If you’ve not done so already, please consider making a difference with a gift this holiday season.

Click here to honor a beloved by giving to the Tree of Lights

For more information please contact Julie Fraser, Annual Giving Manager, at 206.920.7344 or email her.

 View more photos from the event on our Facebook page