Hope lights up for those touched by cancer

The Junior Women's Club of Albany raised $37,000 this year for the event

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and the Junior Women's Club of Albany lighted up hope and remembrance for cancer survivor's at the 27th annual Lights of Love event on Monday night.

Survivor Jennifer Ricks â" who battled kidney cancer â" helped spread the hope by lighting up the Christmas tree.

"It gives everybody hope, it gives me hope and all of the other cancer survivors and those family members who've been touched by cancer as well," says Ricks.

This year, the Junior Women's Club of Albany donated $37,000 to the "Lights of Love" event. This year, money will help the Carlton Breast Health Center. After the center performs biopsies, Phoebe helps make recovering women more comfortable with a care package that includes a bathrobe, slippers and magazine.

"We started this project 27 years ago. It started off with a $16,000 donation our first year and we've gone up as high as $65,000," says Michele Bates, President of the Junior Women's Club of Albany.

Each light on this Christmas tree symbolizes someone's life that has been touched by cancer, whether they lost their live from it or survived it.

"It just reminds everyone that we all have hope. There are cancer survivors. We're fighting for a cure and it just lets them know we're remembering them," says Ricks.

Those who helped to arrange Lights of Love say it doesn't just help those affected by cancer.

"This is a way for the community to give back themselves and to see the results of their donation and a lot of people like to see the results of what they do," says Bates.