United Way, UPMC, community partners thank health-care workers | News, Sports, Jobs

Hundreds of luminarias, above, lit the front lawn of UPMC Williamsport as part of the Lights of Hope celebration on Friday. The event was a collaboration of UPMC Williamsport, Lycoming County United Way and Sojourner Truth Ministries to celebrate the hope of the new year.

Luminarias glowing at dusk across the snow-swept front lawn of UPMC Williamsport sent a message of hope as the COVID-19 pandemic enters a new year.

The 1000 lights are also a means of giving thanks to the many health-care workers who have responded in time of need across the community.

“I witness hope coming to fruition,” Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter told the few who braved unforgiving cold and brisk winds to gather for the Lights of Hope Celebration late Friday afternoon.

The mayor extended condolences to those who have lost family members and friends to COVID-19, while thanking the health-care providers who have put in long hours to care for patients in the midst of the pandemic.

“Again, I want to say thank you,” he said.

Ron Reynolds, president, UPMC Muncy and Lock Haven Hospitals, said the resolve, resiliency and sacrifices of health-care staff are indeed signs of hope.

UPMC personnel, he noted, are prepared and adaptable while working in state-of-the-art facilities.

He vowed a commitment to discipline and vigilance by UPMC will continue.

Ron Frick, president of the Lycoming County United Way, borrowing a quote from George Washington Carver, said, “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”

The United Way has been recognizing health-care workers at UPMC with various events.

In late December, UPMC employees were able to pick up free coffee at several local restaurants.

Frick noted the support UPMC has given to United Way over the years.

“The health of the community is essential,” he said. “Think of the value of our community.”

Fighting for the health of everyone who lives here is a core mission of the United Way, according to Frick.

Angelique Labadie-Cihanowyz, executive director of Sojourner Truth Ministries, gave a prayer of thanks to all UPMC staff.

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