This January, Averett University will be keeping its holiday lights up throughout the month to honor local health care heroes.

As part of the “Keep Your Lights Up for Healthcare Heroes” campaign launched by HCA Virginia, the University’s Christmas ball lights lining the Averett stretch of West Main Street and Woodland Drive will continue shining, as well as the other lights around campus and in the windows.

“We are calling upon every citizen, business and community to keep their holiday lights up through Jan. 31 to recognize those working in healthcare. As they drive to or from their shift, the holiday lights will express support to our healthcare heroes,” said the HCA Virginia website.

During their first holiday season at Averett in 2008, Averett President Tiffany M. Franks and her husband, Joe, wanted to brighten the community with the now popular Christmas ball lights that have since spread beyond campus and into the community. The number of balls on campus has grown to more than 120 over the past 12 years.

“Every one of us is indebted to our health care heroes who tirelessly serve our communities, especially during this historic time,” Franks said.

“Our health care partners have worked with us and guided us through every step of this pandemic, and we are grateful to them for their continued service to this community. We are delighted to continue shining our lights in their honor as a small token of our appreciation, and hope it helps to brighten their nights.”