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Bermuda Run Cares: Tree lit atop Davie Medical, charities benefit

BERMUDA RUN – It’s about building a sense of community, and spreading some holiday cheer along the way.

A 21-foot tall Christmas tree was lit atop the Wake Forest Baptist Health Davie Medical Center here last week.

And through Bermuda Run Cares, the project is raising money for Family Promise of Davie County and for an employee assistance fund at the hospital.

“This is about community,” said Bermuda Run Mayor Rick Cross. “Anybody who comes through our community can see this tree and hopefully it will put a smile on their face … and hopefully they will think about putting a smile on someone else’s face by making a donation.”

The group has raised $7,000, and more is needed. Donations can be made at Davie Tavern or through the Bermuda Run Cares Facebook page.

“That’s a testament to the folks of Bermuda Run and Davie County. That’s what makes this such a special place,” Cross said.

Matt Britt, WFBH marketing manager, was emcee for the outdoor event on Dec. 2. “The generosity of this community is amazing,” he said.

Lisa Foster, executive director of Family Promise, said the organization serves families with minor children who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Those families have been struck extra hard by the COVID pandemic, she said.

“Our families were in crisis all over again,” she said. “Now, the biggest need is emergency financial assistance to keep families in homes this holiday season.”

Chad Brown, president of Davie Medical, said employees also have unmet needs.

“Our employees have been through a lot, obviously, and this time of year certain needs are sometimes unmet for our employees,” Brown said. “This is a chance for us to come together as a community, to help our employees in need. They give a lot to the community and our community gives back to us. This is a time to come together.”

“This is an awesome setting and an awesome hospital,” Britt added.

Even Santa Claus took time from his busy schedule to attend the tree lighting ceremony. He joked that he had came to see if the mayor had kept all of his campaign promises … if not, he should expect lumps of coal.

“The tree emphasizes hope for the future – hope for all of us,” Santa said. “We’ll get 2020 behind us and at this time next year, we’ll get to what we used to call normal.”

He said the lights are a symbol of a dream – a dream that those in Family Promise have – a dream to have a place to call home.

Santa urged people to get involved with the project and give. “You don’t get any warmer feeling than when you give,” he said.

How is 2020 affecting things at the North Pole?

“I’ve got the lists covered. The elves at the workshop are working night and day.”

The idea started with a phone call the mayor received one night. Roseanne Peacock called and said if there was ever a year for the town to do something to promote good will, 2020 is the year. She kept him on the phone until he said that if she put something together, he would support it.

Then Peacock, Sharon Reid and Christy Schaefer cornered the mayor at Maddie Cakes. He was hoping they were going to buy him a cupcake, but instead they peppered him with things he needed to do to make the Christmas tree a reality.

“With their energy, their vigor and their inspiration, that’s what made this happen here tonight,” Cross said.

The town board unanimously agreed to pay for the tree. Hospital maintenance workers placed it atop the building.

The evening closed with a prayer by Davie Medical Center chaplain, Adam Ridenhour.

“May the tree provide a sense of hope, a symbol of community for our medical center caregivers and those who partner with Family Promise,” Ridenhour said.