Lights for Life: Meet Susan and Harleigh MacKay

We love seeing old friends come to PCH for a visit this time of year. We had the opportunity to visit with Susan Mackay when she came by PCH to make her annual Lights for Life dedication. Susan and husband Harleigh have been making gifts to Lights for Life since the very beginning in 1995. Some gifts have been to honour their grandchildren while other donations have been made in memory of loved ones they’d lost including Susan’s mother Bessie, sister Barbara, father George and father-in-law John. “Lights for Life is always a wonderful way to start off the Christmas season for us. It has become a tradition,” said Susan.

Friends of PCH would likely know Susan from her many years as a nurse here at the hospital. But you may not know that Susan has also been a longtime Lights for Life committee member, staff choir conductor, and former honourary chairperson; helping to guide the event to what it has become. “I became involved in Lights for Life because PCH has always been a very important part of my life” Susan continued. “I was always so proud to say I was a RN at PCH and it was a way for me to give back….”

“When I see the show every year, I am so filled with emotion as I remember dear loved ones. It is such a special feeling. You feel like the light of the love you shared with them is still shining and twinkling in your heart. It is a special way to honour and remember the special people in our lives, and also to contribute to PCH in assisting to purchase modern equipment. It’s a season of giving and remembering, so what a wonderful way to do both amidst the twinkling lights and music.”

Lights for Life has been tradition for many others like Susan and Harliegh. It’s a part of the holiday season in Prince County and beyond. There’s a great deal of meaning attached to the fundraiser that extends past the beautiful display that envelops our hospital each December. For many, it’s their time to pay tribute to those they’ve lost or to honour those still with them. Lights for Life is an opportunity to reflect … and it’s been that way for over a quarter of a century.