The year was 1984.
President Ronald Regan was re-elected in a landslide victory. Michael Jackson's Thriller won a Grammy for "Album of the Year." The first episodes of The Cosby Show appeared on television.
And Holiday Festival - Torrance Memorial's premier fundraising event - debuted as the Festival of The Trees.
Inspired by Fran Limberg and a group of 50 Las Amigas members as a way to raise funds for Torrance Memorial Medical Center. The initial four-day event took place in an underground garage and boasted more than 1,600 paid admissions. More than $10,000 was raised from auctioning the trees. What started out as a labor for love years ago has evolved into an enduring community tradition in the South Bay, one that represents families, fun, giving and the spirit of the holidays.
Almost as magical as Santa himself, Torrance Memorial's employee parking lot transforms into a festival holiday haven. Each year, the magic of Holiday festival unfolds, and with it grows a most remarkable community of volunteers that over the years have employed both visionary thinking and creativity.
What a difference 29 years makes. Last year's Holiday Festival dazzled more than 5,000 community members. Held under a giant 25,000-square-foot-tent, the popular event raised $2 million towards construction of the hospital's new patient tower.