Young Cancer Survivor Will Light Up the Roswell Park Campus Tree of Hope

Family-friendly holiday celebration to include carriage rides, music and candlelit tribute to all touched by cancer

Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s 17th annual Tree of Hope lighting ceremony will draw cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones together for a holiday celebration Friday, Dec. 8, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Kaminski Park and Gardens on the Roswell Park campus. This free, family-friendly event will be held in honor of all who are touched by cancer. It will include live music, carriage rides, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, face painting and a gingerbread house raffle.

Guests can expect all the joys of the holiday season at this outdoor event, which is co-sponsored by WGRZ 2 On Your Side and West Herr Automotive Group. The festivities will be hosted by Channel 2’s Maryalice Demler and Adam Benigni, and will culminate with the lighting of the Tree of Hope by 7-year-old Mashayla, a cancer survivor and member of the Courage of Carly Fund at Roswell Park.

The event will also feature a candle-lighting ceremony paying tribute to those we’ve lost to cancer, survivors and those still fighting the disease. Attendees will have the opportunity to write personal and inspirational messages on star-shaped ornaments to be placed on a holiday tree in the Roswell Park main lobby. Other activities and attractions to be featured at this year’s Tree of Hope:

Performances by The Doyle Brothers, Mike Casinelli and the HyNotes/Friends of Harmony

Visits and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Horse-drawn-carriage rides donated by the Collins Draft Horse, Ox and Pony Club

Area mascots, plus characters from Theatre of Youth’s “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells”

Gingerbread house raffle

Face painting

Dunkin’ Donuts, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Buffalo and BJ’s Wholesale Club to provide refreshments — hot chocolate, apple cider and donuts

Animated light show sponsored by Ingram Micro — a display of 75,000 energy-efficient LED lights, orchestrated to holiday music

Light-up bracelets for sale at the Roswell table

Guests may register to attend this free event by contacting 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or online at Free parking will be available in Roswell Park’s on-campus parking ramp, located at Carlton and Elm Streets in Buffalo.

Television viewers across Western New York, Western Pennsylvania and Southern Ontario can watch live coverage of the event on WGRZ-TV Channel 2 that evening beginning at 5 p.m., with streaming live coverage on For an online version of this release, please visit:


The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.