Tree of Love Campaign to host virtual celebration Thursday

DOWAGIAC — The Ascension Borgess Foundation is urging the community to support its annual Tree of Love campaign, which helps women in need receive life-saving mammograms and breast health services.

Due to the COVID-19, officials said the campaign will look different than usual, including a virtual celebration. Despite the changes, the program will continue to support the cause of helping women in Cass County.

The program got its start in 1985, the first Ascension Borgess Tree of Love was launched as a way to raise money for early detection and treatment of breast cancer, a disease that claims the life of one American woman every 69 seconds. It is estimated that one out of every five women does not have insurance to cover breast cancer detection services, such as mammography.

When detected early, breast cancer is often more easily treated and women diagnosed with the disease live longer, according to hospital officials.

Donations to the Tree of Love campaign fund mammograms at Ascension Borgess Hospital for low-income women who do not have health insurance or whose insurance does not cover the cost of screenings. When donors contribute to the Tree of Love campaign, they have the opportunity to honor or remember a loved one represented with a light on the tree. Each honoree is then mailed a card recognizing the honor and donation.

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the tree lighting festivities at Ascension Borgess Hospital will be hosted virtually on Thursday. The virtual ceremony will include a reflection, a few words from some medical professionals and the tree lighting. The virtual ceremony can be viewed at borgessfoundation.org​ or on the Ascension Borgess Facebook page. Trees with honoree lights will also be lit at Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital and Ascension Borgess Allegan Hospital.

This year, the Ascension Borgess Foundation hopes to raise $48,000, with an additional $12,000 raised at Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital and $8,000 from Ascension Borgess Allegan Hospital to help women in southwest Michigan. Every $8 donation will help support mammography and other breast care services at Ascension Borgess, as well as allow donors to honor or remember someone special. Every $80 donation will sponsor a mammogram for a woman and allow donors to honor or remember up to 10 people. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Secure, tax-deductible donations may be made online at

borgessfoundation.org​.

For more information, visit ​borgessfoundation.org​ or contact the Ascension Borgess Foundation at (269) 226-8100.

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