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Parrish Healthcare's 32nd Annual Gift of Light Raises over $20,000

Parrish Healthcare's 32nd Annual Gift of Light Raises over $20,000


Natalie Sellers, MS, APR, SSC, FACHE

Sr. Vice President, Communications, Community & Corporate Services or

Stacy Hunt, Communications Specialist


TITUSVILLE, FLA (December 6, 2022)– The 32nd annual Gift of Light community celebration held on December 1, 2022 at Parrish Medical Center has raised $20,825 and counting thanks to the generosity of donors and sponsors.

Since the inception of the Gift of Light, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised all benefiting the areas of greatest community need and administered by the Jess Parrish Medical Foundation.

“The funds raised have been used to support our first responders with new lifesaving equipment and training; to provide services to the very young and fragile elderly; purchase new medically advanced diagnostic technology; and award medical scholarships; to name a few of the ways these funds are used to extend the reach of the Parrish Healthcare vision, Healing Families—Healing Communities®, said JPMF Executive Director and Parrish Healthcare Senior Vice President Natalie Sellers.

An estimated 3,000 community members attended this year’s event. Many of whom purchased a light on the 40-foot, grand Christmas tree in honor or tribute of someone special. The tribute gift program is available all year and culminates with the Gift of Light; donors can choose between placing a light on the tree for a $35 donation or a light on the magnificent star for $100, said Sellers.

Tribute and memorial gifts are permanently listed in the Book of Honor displayed year-round in the hospital’s All Faiths Chapel and in the atrium during the holiday season. Tributes are also featured in a digital Book of Honor, which will be released on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2022.

Thirty-two years ago, Gift of Light was a modest fundraising event organized by the Parrish Medical Center Auxiliary.

The charming event hosted about 30 to 50 guests (employees, volunteers and community members) and featured area school choral groups singing traditional Christmas carols.

The event ended with the lighting of the tree that was perched on rooftop of the former hospital tower building. The tree was made using strands of lights and stood about six to seven feet.

In 2002, when Parrish Medical Center opened the doors to what is today nationally recognized as One of America’s Finest Healing Environments®, it was time to re-invent Gift of Light.

To herald in the holiday season in 2003, Parrish Healthcare President/CEO George Mikitarian set plans in motion to provide a holiday event that was as much about demonstrating gratitude for the community, (friend-raising), as it was about fundraising. Since then, Parrish Healthcare has grown the free community event to one of Central Florida’s finest tree lighting and holiday celebrations and North Brevard’s beloved holiday traditions.

Parrish Healthcare’s Gift of Light event heralds in the most wonderful of seasons—the season of giving—in a spectacular way,” said Parrish Healthcare President/CEO George Mikitarian. “The event is as much about celebrating the holidays as it is about expressing our sincere gratitude to the community we have the honor to serve. Gratitude for the trust they place in us as their health system of choice, and gratitude for their support of events like Gift of Light that extend the reach of our vision, Healing Families—Healing Communities®,” added Mikitarian.

Parrish Healthcare, in partnership with the Jess Parrish Medical Foundation (JPMF), want to thank and recognize this year’s event sponsors: Title sponsor: Ron Norris Automotive Group; Fireworks sponsor: Injury Centers of Brevard; North Pole sponsor: Affordable Dentures and Implants; North Star sponsors: The Broome Law Firm, P.A. / Chris & Kelley Broome, Florida Health Care Plans, and Coastal Health Systems of Brevard; and in-kind event sponsor Graphic Press Printing.

“We are overjoyed by the tremendous support received for the Gift of Light, and are delighted to have so many organizations and community partners joining us to make a difference in our community,” said Randall Coleman, Chairman of the JPMF Board of Directors. “On behalf of the Foundation, I would like to extend our thanks to the sponsors, tribute donors, volunteers and everyone else that played a role in this extraordinary event.”

Special thanks and recognition, as well to our City of Titusville leaders, including Mayor Diesel, City Council Members, Titusville High School Chamber Orchestra, Space Coast Junior/Senior High School Sound Wave, Astronaut High School Jazz Band, The Titusville Playhouse, and Fierce Dance Studio for your participation. Artistic Executive Director of the Titusville Playhouse, Steven Heron, emceed the event. Santa and Mrs. Claus made a special appearance for photos and to hear Christmas wishes. Children loved visiting Santa’s Workshops for holiday crafts and cookie decorating. Face painters, a balloon artist, Stilt Walkers, and Santa’s elves made sure guests had a magical, memorable (healing) experience. The grand Christmas tree wasn’t the only thing that lit up the night sky. The breathtaking fireworks display ended the event and welcomed the start of the Christmas season.

“Our sincere thanks to the community for supporting our Gift of Light,” said Parrish Healthcare Chairman of the Board Robert Jordan. “This annual event celebrates the healing nature of the holiday season. Healing that comes from bringing the community together to share in the gifts of fellowship, laughter and joy. And, healing that comes from seeing the faces of young and old light up as they experience all that the Gift of Light has to offer...Healing Experiences For Everyone All The Time®.”

For more information, visit Tribute gifts may still be made throughout the month of December by visiting