SMHC Auxiliary's Tree of Life Celebration Raises $10,000 to Support Local Emergency Care

December 08, 2017

The Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) Auxiliary hosted their annual Tree of Life celebrations with a wonderful story to share: $10,000 was raised in the community to support patient care in the SMHC Biddeford and Sanford Emergency Departments.


More than 150 doves hung in the lobbies of SMHC’s Biddeford and Sanford Medical Centers on Wednesday for the simultaneous Tree of Life celebrations. This year, the Auxiliary chose a new way to honor and remember loved ones by creating commemorative, personalized doves. Each dove held the name of someone loved and lost, or those chosen to be honored, by the donor making the gift. Together, these names represented $10,000 worth of donations from the community that will help to provide essential resources to SMHC’s Emergency Departments; ensuring that the latest in technology and treatment are available for those in the most urgent need of care.


Auxilians, donors, SMHC employees, and community members gathered for the moving ceremonies. They enjoyed home-baked goods from Auxilians and local bakeries, including Fernleaf and Reilly’s. Holiday music was provided by the Thorton Academy String Quartet in Biddeford and pianist Jacklyn Belmonte in Sanford. The tree lightings offer a special opportunity to remember and honor loved ones during the holidays.

The dove ornament was chosen because it is recognized as the international symbol of peace, and the Auxiliary wanted donors to be inspired by the symbol. Each dove was hand-inscribed with a loved one’s name, and donors were invited to take the ornament home with them. Donations can still be made to support the Tree of Life and receive a personalized dove by calling SMHC’s Development Office at 207-283-7251.


About Southern Maine Health Care
Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) is a national award-winning healthcare system with a non-profit mission “to improve the health and health care of the communities we serve.”  SMHC includes a full service, acute care medical center in Biddeford, with York County’s only inpatient mental health unit. Emergency care, surgical services, and diagnostic and therapy services are available at SMHC’s Medical Centers in Biddeford and Sanford. SMHC offers primary care and multi-specialty physician services, diagnostic and therapy services, and Walk-In Care centers in various York County communities including Biddeford, Kennebunk, Saco, Sanford, North Berwick and Waterboro. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited and has been recognized for quality excellence by numerous outside organizations. To learn more about SMHC and SMHC providers, visit,, or

About SMHC Auxiliary
The SMHC Auxiliary has been an integral part of the hospital family since 1907, raising and donating over $2 million to SMHC over the past 100 years. This dynamic group helps people across York County through their support of many important patient care programs and services that would otherwise not receive funding, such as massage therapy for cancer patients, emergency department equipment, and more. 


Photo Caption: Thornton Academy String Quartet musicians, Shannon Danis, Jenna Danler, Maxwell Vickery and Rowan Collins, played holiday music at the SMHC Auxiliary’s Tree of Life celebration in Biddeford. The tree was decorated with commemorative doves, purchased to support SMHC’s emergency services in honor of loved ones.