Ignite Hope raises record $346K for Phoenix Children’s Hospital

More than 2,300 walkers lit up Phoenix Children’s Hospital and patients’ faces for the Dec. 8 Ignite Hope holiday candlelight walk.

Walkers join Ignite Hope at Phoenix Children’s Holiday Candlelight Walk on Dec. 8. (Submitted photo)

The event raised a record $346,000, according to a press release describing an atmosphere filled with “twinkling candles,” a crowd-friendly sing-a-long with the CCV Music Team, a visit from Santa, and stories told by kids who have spent the holiday season in the hospital.

Festivities kicked off at North High School, which included interactive holiday experiences for families, including superhero and princess appearances, face painting and a cameo from Santa. Saint Nick led the 1.1 mile trek to the hospital on a red fire truck, the release said.

Walkers held battery-lit candles and were greeted by the CCV music team, which played festive holiday favorites as patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital watched from their rooms while holding their own candles. The night concluded with the ceremonial lighting of the hospital’s holiday tree and palm trees.

“Our patient families should know that they are not alone during the holidays. Ignite Hope visually demonstrates that fact each year,” said Steve Schnall, senior vice president and chief development officer for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, in a prepared statement. “The support the community gave our patients in 2018 is nothing short of astonishing.”

The Ignite Hope tradition began at Phoenix Children’s when friends and family of 15-year-old Katie Wagner, a patient who was diagnosed with cancer, held a candlelight vigil outside her hospital window, detailed the release.

Although Katie has passed, the candlelight tradition has lived on to brighten the lives of thousands more patients, the release said. Katie’s parents and siblings participated in the Dec. 8 event.

They continue to promote the positive impact the hospital has on many lives, the release said, adding that Ignite Hope is made possible with the support of community partners.

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