Macy's West selects UCSF Children's Hospital as the beneficiary of its annual San Francisco holiday

For the first time, Macy’s West is making its annual Union Square holiday tree lighting a charitable event, benefiting UCSF Children’s Hospital.  Members of the public can join in to make the season a little brighter for a child by sponsoring a light to help illuminate the 80-ft fir tree.

Sponsorship is $10, with all donations going to UCSF Children’s Hospital for specialized programs to provide the best medical care as well as essential emotional and spiritual support at the most difficult time for a family - when a child is faced with a life-threatening illness.

Each ticket can be used as an attractive gift card to inform a friend that a light has been purchased in his or her name. All donations are tax deductible.

Now through December 24, purchase tickets to sponsor a light or a string of lights:

In person at the following locations:

*Gift shop at UCSF Medical Center, 505 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco,(Mon-Sat)

*Gift shop at UCSF Mount Zion Medical Center, 1600 Divisadero St., San Francisco (Mon-Fri)

*Macy’s Holiday Lane, Stockton and O’Farrell Streets, downtown San Francisco, (Saturdays throughout the season)

Credit card donations:

*Online at

*Call toll free (888) 689-UCSF

On Friday, November 28, 6 to 6:30 pm, Macy’s will light its traditional “gift to the City,” an 80-foot tall holiday tree decorated with thousands of twinkling lights and 1,500 red and gold ornaments.  Santa Claus leads thousands of revelers in the countdown before he throws the switch on Union Square’s holiday decorations and the giant wreath on Macy’s Geary Street facade, lighting the entire Square.  The 14th annual tree lighting ceremony is free and open to all.

Former 49er Ronnie Lott and his wife, Karen are honorary co-chairs of the fundraising campaign and longtime supporters of UCSF Children’s Hospital through their foundation, All Stars Helping Kids.  At a kick-off event for the UCSF community, Lott told the crowd, “These children, families and staff are true All Stars, and that’s why we are proud to support UCSF Children’s Hospital. Thanks to Macy’s generosity, now everyone has the opportunity to contribute to this cause.  When you sponsor a light for the Holiday Tree, you’re bringing joy to a child and comfort to a family.”

The UCSF Children’s Hospital holiday fundraiser also is sponsored by GE Medical Systems, Cardinal Health, Seagate Technology, Idema, Corporate Express, Hard Manufacturing and Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, Inc. KGO-TV is partnering with Macy’s West as the media sponsor of the tree lighting event.

UCSF Children’s Hospital is the best pediatric hospital in California and one of the top 10 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The 180-bed hospital, cradled within the larger UCSF Medical Center, is the referral center for children with serious and life-threatening conditions from Northern California and around the world. Its pediatric experts are leaders in 50 medical specialties, renowned for discoveries that save tens of thousands of children’s lives each year. Doctors and staff focus entirely on the medical, emotional and social needs of young patients and their families.

Macy’s West, headquartered in San Francisco, is a division of Federated, one of the nation’s leading department store retailers. Macy’s West operates 141 stores in seven states and Guam, with 2002 annual sales of more than $4 billion.

Macy’s has a history of incorporating a charitable component into the holiday season, including “One Warm Coat” which provides warm coats for the winter season, and the Adopt-a-Family program, where employees work with local agencies to help families in need. Its “Thanks for Sharing” campaign supports organizations in all Macy’s communities. This is the first year Macy’s has chosen a direct beneficiary of the tree lighting ceremony.

PHOTO EDITORS: color photos show UCSF patients, Macy’s Holiday Tree, or Ronnie and Karen Lott with young patients at the kick-off of this holiday fundraiser. Contact UCSF News Services (415-476-2557).

FEATURE EDITORS: stories about UCSF Children’s Hospital patients and their families who plan to attend the holiday tree-lighting are available:

*A nine-year-old girl whose brain tumor is being treated with a method available at only a few children’s hospitals nationwide. “I cannot put into words what (my daughter’s) comprehensive care has meant to our family,” says her mother in a letter to doctors and staff at UCSF Children’s Hospital.

*A three-year-old boy whose “bubble boy syndrome” was treated soon after he was born, with an advanced bone marrow transplant developed at UCSF for babies who do not have a completely matching donor.

*Children whose lives were saved as very fragile newborns; whose heart defects have been repaired; who are living healthy lives after brain surgery or liver or kidney transplants; whose UCSF Children’s Hospital health teams help them grow up with chronic diseases like childhood arthritis and diabetes.