BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Santa, Mrs. Claus, even The Grinch and his reindeer dog Max were on hand to greet those who gathered for the 12th annual Christmas tree lighting at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport on Tuesday.
As St. Vincent’s President and CEO Dr. Stuart Marcus flipped the switch, setting the tree a-twinkle, Connie Gabriel, the hospital’s employee of the year, was whisked up on a lift to set a pure white angel on the tree top.
Gabriel, a 42-year employee from Naugatuck, works in the short stay area of the facility.
“She’s a compassionate caregiver for all who come to see her,” Marcus said, as Gabriel stood with her granddaughters, Destiny and Skye Meath of Bridgeport.
Kiara Simmons, a student at Bridgeport’s Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet School, began the festivities with a poignant rendition of “O Holy Night,” followed by the Hilltop Middle School Choraleers of Trumbull with “The First Noel,” “Angels We Have Heard on High” and other holiday favorites.
The crowd gathered — some employees, some patients and visitors who stumbled upon the event — cheered as Santa, Mrs. Claus, Alberta Spruce and elves Jingles and Jangles passed out mini candy canes.
Others posed by the enormous tree covered with angels, which graces the hospital’s main lobby.
“We wish you all a wonderful, happy and healthy holiday season!” Marcus said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.