Marshall University choral singers will participate in the Light the House that Love Built event at Ronald McDonald House in Huntington from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. The event will include an open house with refreshments, a visit from the newly-crowned Miss West Virginia Charisse Haislop and caroling.
The event, free and open to the public, is held annually as a way to raise visibility of the need to keep families together while a child is receiving treatment in the hospital, Jaye Toler, director of development for the house, said.
“We know that families are stronger when they are together, and their presence helps a sick child heal faster and cope better,” Toler said. “The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State keeps a family together while a child is being treated at area hospitals. For children facing a medical crisis, not much is scarier than being without mom or dad close by for love and support. We provide a ‘home away from home’ while families face traveling from home to get treatment for their child.”
Robert Wray, who is associate professor of choral music education at Marshall, knows firsthand what it feels like to have a child in the hospital for extensive amounts of time – procedure after procedure.
“From my own personal experience, I understand how lonely it can feel to have a child in the hospital during the holidays,” Wray said. “I also remember how good it felt when complete strangers volunteered their time to bring even a small amount of joy into my life during that time of trouble. Many of these Marshall singers saw what my daughter went through and, through their singing, want the opportunity to bring joy into the lives of other families, even if only for a few minutes.”