November 18, 2020

Nashville lights up the night to support Children’s Hospital

Tori Bowman, a Child Life Assistant, and Nora Worley, 8, a patient, look out from Nora’s window during the Second Annual Night Lights for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Photo by Erin O. Smith.

Nashville, surrounding communities and businesses once again said “good night” and lit up the night skies Nov. 17 in support of patients, families and health care workers at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and across Tennessee.

Just as the pandemic has altered many aspects of life, the second annual Night Lights for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt was a special virtual edition of a program broadcast directly to patients’ rooms. The program also streamed live via social media for staff and the community, children and families from across the region to take part from the safety of their homes.

Virtual programming for patients in their rooms included a musical performance; video messages to children and families from country music artist Kix Brooks, the Nashville Sounds, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper and Nashville Mayor John Cooper, among others; a livestreamed drone show from downtown Nashville; and a parade of emergency vehicles flashing their lights for patients in their rooms. The program was hosted live from Seacrest Studio at Children’s Hospital by program manager Mamie Shepherd.

Some of Nashville’s iconic structures and businesses — the Adventure Science Center, AT&T Building, Bridgestone Arena, Bridgestone Tower, Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge, Historic Nashville Metropolitan Courthouse, First Horizon Park, the Tennessee State Capitol and Nashville International Airport — were lit in the Children’s Hospital primary colors as a display of support. Children’s Hospital’s newest location, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt Surgery and Clinics Murfreesboro, also was aglow in bright colors and will remain lit up through Dec. 6 in celebration of the facility’s one-year anniversary.

“Our second annual Night Lights good night to patients and families may have looked different this year because we could not gather together physically, but the overwhelming support from our Nashville and Middle Tennessee communities and businesses, on Tuesday and year-round, shines a bright light on our commitment to provide hope and healing to all children who come to us for their health care needs,” said Meg Rush, MD, MMHC, President of Children’s Hospital.

“To see some of Nashville’s most prominent structures and businesses light up in our Children’s Hospital colors is incredibly heartwarming and moving. And I am excited that our newest Children’s Hospital facility in Murfreesboro was also lit in primary colors to say ‘good night’ to children in that community. I want to offer my sincere gratitude to the partners, businesses, and community members who made it possible for us to virtually bring this special edition of Night Lights at Children’s Hospital directly to hundreds of patients’ rooms.”

The Night Lights Drone Show, presented and donated by Strictly FX, livestreamed to patient rooms from downtown Nashville and on Children’s Hospital social media. More than 150 drones took to the sky over the riverfront for a holiday-themed graphics light show. NewsChannel 5 provided the livestreamed online coverage of the drone show and streamed aerial footage of the lighted structures captured by the Sky 5 helicopter.

Emergency vehicles representing Nashville Fire Department, Metro Nashville Police Department, Vanderbilt University Police Department, Vanderbilt LifeFlight and Nashville EMS flashed their lights to close the program, saying good night to children and families in their hospital rooms.

The annual Night Lights program also signaled the kickoff to the holiday season and the community’s philanthropic support of Children’s Hospital.

“Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has done a lot for a lot of folks. Here in Music City, there are a lot of musical heroes. But for me, our doctors, nurses, research staff, so many people at Children’s Hospital, and especially the children who are in the hospital, they are really my true heroes,” said Brooks, chair of the Children’s Hospital Advisory Board. “While the holidays will look a lot different this year, I encourage our community to keep supporting Children’s Hospital so we can give the very best in health care to our children.”

To learn more about Night Lights or giving opportunities to support Children’s Hospital patients through the holidays, visit