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Christmas Comes To St. Vincent's Medical Center In Bridgeport

Students from Trumbull's Hilltop Middle School sing at the St. Vincent's Medical Center tree lighting Dec. 1. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Connie Gabriel, St. Vincent's Medical Center employee of the year, adds an angel to the top of the hospital's Christmas tree. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Elves Jingles and Jangles, The Grinch and Alberta Spruce join the crowd at the St. Vincent's Medical Center tree lighting. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
The 2015 St. Vincent's Medical Center Christmas tree Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Santa, Mrs. Claus, even The Grinch and his reindeer dog Max were on hand to greet those who gathered for the 12th annual Christmas tree lighting at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport on Tuesday.

As St. Vincent’s President and CEO Dr. Stuart Marcus flipped the switch, setting the tree a-twinkle, Connie Gabriel, the hospital’s employee of the year, was whisked up on a lift to set a pure white angel on the tree top.

Gabriel, a 42-year employee from Naugatuck, works in the short stay area of the facility.

“She’s a compassionate caregiver for all who come to see her,” Marcus said, as Gabriel stood with her granddaughters, Destiny and Skye Meath of Bridgeport.

Kiara Simmons, a student at Bridgeport’s Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet School, began the festivities with a poignant rendition of “O Holy Night,” followed by the Hilltop Middle School Choraleers of Trumbull with “The First Noel,” “Angels We Have Heard on High” and other holiday favorites.

The crowd gathered — some employees, some patients and visitors who stumbled upon the event — cheered as Santa, Mrs. Claus, Alberta Spruce and elves Jingles and Jangles passed out mini candy canes.

Others posed by the enormous tree covered with angels, which graces the hospital’s main lobby.

“We wish you all a wonderful, happy and healthy holiday season!” Marcus said.

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