Northern Arizona Healthcare kicked off the holiday season with its 15th annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony at Flagstaff Medical Center, featuring music, games, food, Santa and two special honorees.
The ceremony began at FMC’s Café Flag at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2, as NAH President and CEO Rob Thames introduced the honorees.
Honoree Vincent Maccarone has been a patient at the Children’s Health Center for the past 10 years. Maccarone is well-rounded and very busy: He is an Eagle Scout; has trained his dog, Kusko, to become a therapy dog; volunteers at his church and at FMC; and studies psychology in the CCC-NAU program. In his spare time, Maccarone plays video games and pursues photography.
“Vincent has become family,” Thames said. “We are very proud of him and are excited for him to be here to flip the switch tonight.”
Honoree Joseph Spence has been a patient at the Children’s Health Center for more than 10 years, since he was three years old. Although Spence is a social butterfly at school who is constantly reading up on sports, he's also a serious athlete – he competes in Special Olympics bocce ball, bowling, basketball and swimming – for which he recently earned a gold medal. An avid NASCAR fan, he dreams of meeting Jeff Gordon.
“Joseph is never short on upbeat jokes and will take on anyone in an NFL debate − especially if it involves his beloved Chicago Bears,” Thames said.
The holiday lights were switched on at 6 p.m., after which everyone returned to the café for hot chocolate, games and food.
“We're so honored to be here," said Spence’s mother, Tami. “All the way over here, Joseph kept saying how nervous he was and I kept telling him not to be because he was with family."