Spread light and celebrate patients during the 1.1 mile trek to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The festivities kick off at North High School with a family-friendly pre-walk party, including face painting, superhero appearances, music, refreshments and an appearance from Santa himself. The candlelit walk to Phoenix Children’s Hospital starts at 5:30 p.m., landing in the PCH parking lot, where patients will wave their own candles from their rooms and witness thousands of people flooding onto Hospital grounds to wish for their recovery. When walkers arrive at 6:30 p.m., they’ll take part in an inspirational program led by patients and, finally, the lighting of the Hospital’s holiday tree.
“Ignite Hope is an event unlike any other,” says Steve Schnall, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation. “The holidays are a difficult time for children and their families to spend in the hospital, but Ignite Hope brings the holiday spirit right to their doorstep.”
The Ignite Hope tradition began when the friends and family of then 15-year-old PCH patient Katie Wagner held a candlelight vigil outside her hospital window after she was diagnosed with cancer. While Katie has since passed, the candlelight tradition has lived on to brighten the lives of thousands more patients. Previous years brought 2,400 participants to the PCH grounds. This year, Phoenix Children’s Hospital is expecting 3,000 participants — the largest turnout in the event’s history.
A battery-operated candle will be provided to participants 4 and older. Walkers are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped gift for patients who will be hospitalized over the holidays. Participating adults are asked to raise a minimum $100 to help the patients at the hospital, and those who become $15 monthly donors will have their registration fees waived. Pre-registration is $35 for adults, $10 for children between 4 and 12, and free for children 3 and younger. Same-day registration is $45 for adults, $10 for children between 4 and 12 and free for children 3 and younger. For more information and to register, visit pchignitehope.com.