Christmas trees burst into glow
Walking through the lobby of Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center in preparation for Christmas Trees of Davidson County, Susan Reece aimed to help decorate a tree to honor one of Thomasville's popular matrons.
Reece, the executive director of Novant Health Foundation Thomasville Medical Center, never expected to receive assistance herself.
She turned to see Connie Moore, a retired florist and someone Reece did not know from Adam. Two hours later, the two women had decorated a tree to honor Marge Hammond, a lady affectionately known as "Purple Grandma."
And the two members of the Chair City community — Reece and Moore — got a little closer.
"She was just walking through one day. I was trying to put together Purple Grandma's tree, and was struggling a little bit," Reece said. "We sat out there for probably two hours and just had the best time. She didn't know a thing about the trees before. And I thought, this is what it's all about."
The 14th annual lighting of the Christmas Trees of Davidson County was held Dec. 3 before a large gathering of residents from across the county. Miss Thomasville Toria Mangum and Thomasville's Miss Outstanding Teen Kylee Russell assisted Kathie Johnson, president of Novant Health TMC, conduct the ceremonial lighting of the trees.
"Tonight, we have 48 businesses and civic organizations from across the county that have uniquely decorated a tree as their special holiday greeting to each of you," Johnson said during her opening remarks. "Using a very special button on my Novant app, we are going to light the trees."
The dimly-lit room burst into a radiant glow. To allow space for more people in the lobby, the number of trees was reduced this year, but it was hard to tell given the buzz that rose from within the walls.
Children stood in line to visit with Santa Claus. Meanwhile, adults enjoyed festive music performed by Christmas carolers from Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church.
According to Reece, 48 trees were decorated this year for the hospital's annual holiday tradition. This was the first year she helped to oversee the festivities.
"It was fun. I loved working with the staff on this. They taught me a lot, helped me a lot. It was a great way to get to meet people, sitting out in the lobby, because everyone loves this."
Seven trees are available for silent auction through Dec. 18. Proceeds will benefit the Novant Health Foundation Thomasville Medical Center. For more information on how to bid, contact Reece at 476-2881.
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More photos of the event are on the Thomasville Times Facebook page.