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IN MERANO THE TREE OF WISHES OF THE LENE THUN FOUNDATION

With the start of the Christmas Markets, the traditional "Wishing Tree" was lit.

The inauguration took place in the presence of Gerhart Gostner, President of the Lene Thun Foundation, the Olympic athlete Maria Centracchio (Fiamme Oro, Bronze Medal Judo in Tokyo 2020) and local institutions.

In Merano, the Christmas light has officially been turned on: the city, in fact, is ready to host the traditional and famous Markets. Inaugurated on the Lungo Passirio Promenade, they will be active until January 6, 2022 (in compliance with Covid-19 safety regulations), ready to give their typical and unique festive atmosphere to the entire city, including crafts, toys, Christmas decorations and food products.

On this occasion, this afternoon, the big "Tree of Wishes" was also inaugurated, the iconic 9-meter-high fir tree decorated with clay works created by the children hospitalized in the pediatric and child neuropsychiatric wards during the ceramic-therapy workshops offered by the Lene Thun Foundation (part of Lenet Group) at the San Maurizio hospital in Bolzano and the Tappeiner hospital in Merano. The spherical, heart-shaped creations represent the dreams and hopes of the children undergoing treatment and, at the same time, a collective embrace after two difficult years with little human contact. 

An embrace that this year, thanks to the patronage of the Province, becomes even wider and welcomes the thoughts and wishes of the children and young people of the schools of the territory (both Italian and German), who took part in the project of the Tree of Wishes by decorating a colorful circle of shapes. 

The inauguration ceremony of the Tree saw another unique and significant moment with the Olympic athlete Maria Centracchio (Fiamme Oro, bronze in Judo at Tokyo 2020), who hung on the great  tree a ceramic decoration made in recent days by some athletes of the Fiamme Oro - in addition to Centracchio, involved Massimo Stano, Gold Medal Marcia 20km in Tokyo 2020, and Carlotta Gilli, multiple medalist swimming at the Paralympics Tokyo 2020 - together with the oncology children hospitalized at the Gemelli Hospital in Rome, during a special visit. An initiative that is part of the solidarity collaboration with Polizia di Stato presented today at Stifterhof Castle in Merano, in the presence of the most authoritative institutions. 

The Wishing Tree 2021, therefore, tells the stories and the hopes of all the children and young people of the community (together with those of the Sport Group Fiamme Oro of the State Police) and - in the most magical period of the year and in a historical moment in which closeness and human contact have never been so significant and necessary - with its thick branches symbolically embraces the city of Merano and the whole of Italy.