More than 2,000 walkers lit up Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the faces of patients during the Dec. 9 Ignite Hope holiday candlelight walk. The event raised $410,000 for Phoenix Children’s — a record for Ignite Hope.

The festivities kicked off at North High School, which included superhero appearances, face painting, refreshments and an appearance from Santa. Saint Nick led the 1.1 mile trek to the hospital on a fire truck. Walkers held battery-lit candles and were greeted by patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, who peered down from their rooms while holding candles of their own. The inspirational program at the hospital included carolers, live entertainment, “thank yous” from patients and a tree-lighting ceremony. 

“The community’s participation in this event not only raised spirits, but also crucial funding for the hospital,” said Steve Schnall, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Ignite Hope is a chance for the community to show patient families that they are not alone during the holidays. The outpouring of support this year was simply awe-inspiring.”  

The Ignite Hope tradition began at Phoenix Children’s when the friends and family of 15-year-old Katie Wagner, a patient who was diagnosed with cancer, held a candlelight vigil outside her hospital window. While Katie has since passed, the candlelight tradition has lived on to brighten the lives of thousands more patients. Katie’s parents, Jacque and Steve Wagner, participated in the Dec. 9 event and continue to promote the positive impact the hospital has on so many lives. 

Ignite Hope would not be possible without the generous support of community partners. Media partners are 12 News, iHeartMedia and Univision Arizona. Corporate partner is AmTrust Bank. Community sponsors include Bell Honda, CoolEvents, Gila River Casinos, Odyssey Services Corporation, 4 Sons Food Stores, Inc., American Textile Recycling Services, Bank of Arizona, First Watch Restaurants, INFINITI of Scottsdale, National Benefit Partners, Pizza Hut, Sodexo, Alpha Connect, Big O’ Tires, BillingTree, Elements Massage, Fidelity Investments, GKN Aerospace, Hispanic Real Estate Center, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Stream Logistics, Valley of The Sun Active 20-30 Club/Valley Kids Foundation, Vestar, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Peter Piper Pizza, Power Crunch, Rubio’s, SSP America, Statistics & Data Corporation, The Melting Pot, 2 Thumb Productions, Arizona Coyotes, Branded Cities, Danzeisen Dairy, Interstate Batteries, PepsiCo, Phoenix Rising FC, Scottsdale Fashion Square/Macerich, U-Haul, Whataburger, Zoyo Neighborhood Yogurt