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Trees of Angels 2013: Spreading Holiday Cheer in Support of Hospice Care

December 27, 2013

This holiday season Tri-city community members came together to support Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation’s 18th Annual Trees of Angels campaign.   This year’s campaign raised more than $30,000 to support local hospice services for Tri-city area families.

The 2013 Trees of Angels events kicked off with a tree lighting ceremony on Monday, December 2, at Newark City Hall. Santa and Mrs. Claus mingled in the crowd and Mayor Al Nagy emceed the program. The Newark Memorial Cougar Choraliers and the City of Newark’s Preschool Child Care Program entertained community members with holiday carols. The following evening, a tree lighting ceremony was held at the Bernardin Family McDonald’s located at the corner of Mission Boulevard and I-680 in Fremont. What the Dickens Chorus sang holiday favorites, while Mayor Bill Harrison threw the switch to light the tree adorned with angels and lights.

On the evening of Wednesday, December 4, community members gathered to light a holiday tree at the Nakamura Clinic in Union City. Speaking for the Union City Chamber of Commerce, which co-hosted the event, Chamber President, Larry Bowen, welcomed the crowd.  President of the Foundation and Mayor of Union City, Carol Dutra-Vernaci, emceed the event.  The James Logan Jazz Singers, led by Erin McShane, sang for the crowd.  Following the tree lighting, guests enjoyed holiday refreshments and raffle prizes provided by the Union City Chamber Members.

The Foundation hosted the annual Children’s Holiday Breakfast on Saturday, December 7, catered by. The 375 attendees at this event enjoyed breakfast donated by Bernardin Family McDonald’s and a magic show performed by Ronald McDonald.  To cap off the morning, Santa and Mrs. Claus made a grand entrance and sat with families to have their picture taken.  This year, the Foundation invited Kidango and Centro de Servicios in Union City to bring 200 low-income attendees to the breakfast so they could enjoy the festivities.

The Trees of Angels events wrapped up on Thursday, December 12 with a tree lighting ceremony and high school choral competition at Washington West. The choral competition featured James Logan, Newark Memorial and Irvington High School choral groups who competed for a $1,000 donation to their school’s music program.  Congratulations to this year’s grand prize winner, the James Logan Jazz Singers.  Following the choral competition, guests were treated to a tree lighting ceremony and holiday refreshments.

“The Foundation would like to thank all those who volunteered their time to help make these events possible.  Also, special thanks go to Mark and Gaby Bernardin, our Trees of Angels Committee members, and the sponsors and donors.” said Carol Dutra-Vernaci, President of the Foundation.

Since its inception in 1996, Trees of Angels has raised over $484,000 in support of local hospice care.  The care that patients and their families receive provides the gift of quality time – a cherished gift during the holiday season.  “Tree of Angels is our way of bringing some holiday cheer to our neighbors in the community,” said Mark Bernardin, Chair of the Trees of Angels Committee. “It gives us the opportunity to gather with our friends in Fremont, Union City and Newark, while supporting hospice services for Tri-City patients and their families.” 

Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation would like to extend a warm thank you to the 2013 Trees of Angels Sponsors:


  • Fremont Bank Foundation
  • Gonsalves & Kozachenko


  • Integral Communities
  • Lam Research
  • Keith and Verna Krugman
  • Washington Township Medical Foundation


  • Check Center
  • Masonic Homes of California
  • Rotary Club of Fremont
  • Rotary Club of Niles
  • Vitas Innovative Hospice Care


  • Gift Gallery
  • Gerry Harrison
  • Ronald Nelson Family
  • Rotary Club of Newark
  • Jerry Slavonia
  • Solem & Associates
  • Jim & Fran Stone
  • Washington Outpatient Surgery Center

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Trees of Angels in support of local hospice care, please contact the Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation at (510) 791-3428 or email us: