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Gifts to light Mayo tree has helped patients pay over $205,000 in medical bills

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The Season of Light has begun at Mayo in La Crosse for another holiday.

This is the 26th year area residents can donate money in honor of someone they know, to light a Christmas tree at the front of the Mayo hospital on West Avenue.

Joan Weissenberger with the Franciscan Healthcare Auxiliary board said the donations are used to pay off medical bills for patients who are having trouble making payments.

The amount collected over 26 years has been substantial — over $205,000.

“We raise funds through the lights to pay down on those, or pay off an account, so it’s really neat,” Weissenberger said. “They receive a letter in time for Christmas, informing them that their account has been adjusted.”

Donation options include:

  • Illuminate the Tree of Light or the Tree of Hope at $5 per light
  • Trim the Tree at $25 in honor of a family
  • Angel Tree Topper at $50

For more information, call the Auxiliary at 608-392-2711 or order online.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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