2016 National Awareness Tree for Hope and the City of Newport Beach, CA
We would like to take a few minutes to express our gratitude to the City of Newport Beach, California and the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce for hosting this year’s National Awareness Tree for Hope and for incorporating this special tree into the amazing holiday festivities at Marina Park. We know how much hard work and dedication goes into making this holiday tradition a huge success every year, and we are truly honored to have been a part of it.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Disney and Grand Marshall Mickey Mouse for their participation in this spectacular event and for making it a special evening for the families who came out to watch the lighting of the tree and join in the fun of the 108th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade at Marina Park. And finally (“last but not least”, as the saying goes), we would like to thank all the families who came out to support this amazing event. It was a bit of a chilly evening for Newport Beach, but the turnout was still incredible, and your support helped make this event a tremendous success!
The 2016 National Awareness Tree for Hope at Marina Park
Thanks to the City of Newport Beach, California and the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, the 2016 National Awareness Tree for Hope was incorporated into the celebrated the 108th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade at Marina Park, and on display throughout the duration of the festival, from December 14 to December 18. The 108th annual festival was kicked-off this year with an amazing and powerful tree lightening ceremony at the National Awareness Tree for Hope on December 14. The ceremony was followed by family activities and fireworks at Marina Park, and then by the Holiday Boat Parade, a magical parade of nearly 100 brightly-lit boats around Newport Harbor. Many homes around the harbor were decorated for the event as well, a display known as the Ring of Lights! We are both honored and thankful that the 2016 National Awareness Tree for Hope, with its thousands of beautiful gold ribbons honoring the lives of children with childhood cancer, was included in this wonderful holiday tradition.
The History of the National Awareness Tree for Hope
The National Awareness Tree for Hope is an annual tradition started by American Childhood Cancer Organization in 2000 to honor children and teens whose lives have been forever changed by childhood cancer. Each year, the tree—twenty feet tall or even taller—is decorated with thousands of gold ribbons, each bearing the name of a child or teen who is facing or who has faced a cancer diagnosis. The holidays can be an especially difficult time for children in the midst of cancer treatment or for families who are grieving a child they have lost to this devastating disease. The National Awareness Tree was conceived as a way to bring some much needed light into the lives of these families at this difficult time.
From 2000-2013, the Tree stood in the House and Senate Office Buildings as well as Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, DC and every year, ACCO held an official tree lightening ceremony and celebration that allowed families to come together and honor our nation’s children who had fought or were still battling cancer. From 2014-2015, the Tree was hosted by MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s biologics research and development arm in Gaithersburg, MD. ACCO was excited by and grateful for AstraZeneca’s support for the National Awareness Tree for Hope and its commitment to making a difference in the lives of patients and the local community.
Although Newport Beach, California is a long way from its traditional home on the East Coast, we could not have asked for a better home for the 2016 National Awareness Tree for Hope. We are so very thankful for the assistance and support of the amazing organizers at the City of Newport Beach and the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce. The National Awareness Tree for Hope is a critical reminder of just how many lives have been altered forever by childhood cancer, and its prominent role in the annual holiday festivities at Marina Park this year helped to showcase the importance of this critical childhood health concern.
About American Childhood Cancer Organization
American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is a non-profit charity dedicated to helping kids with cancer and their families navigate the difficult journey from cancer diagnosis through survivorship. Internationally, ACCO is the sole U.S. member of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the largest patient-support organization for childhood cancer in the world. Here in the United States, ACCO promotes the critical importance of ensuring continued funding into new and better treatment protocols for childhood cancer. And most importantly, ACCO is focused on the children: developing and providing educational tools for children fighting cancer and their families, empowering them in their understanding of childhood cancer and the medical decisions they must make during this difficult journey. All of ACCO’s resources are available free of charge for families coping with childhood cancer.
For additional information about childhood cancer or on ACCO, or to order resources for you or your child, please visit our website at www.acco.org.
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