Good Night Lights Tradition Spans River, Generations
Seniors of Tockwotton on the Waterfront gather weekly to send greetings to young inpatients.
Tockwotton on the Waterfront, a senior living community in East Providence, has joined other local businesses to send good night wishes to the patients of Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Tockwotton is the latest organization in the Providence area to flash their lights for the hospital’s patients at 8:30 p.m. each night.
“Good Night Lights” began with the efforts of Steve Brosnihan, a cartoonist who has worked with patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital for more than 20 years. When leaving the hospital for the evening, Steve would pause to flash the headlight on his bicycle toward the patients at the hospital.
“Eventually, I figured out that I could send a good night signal right from the bus stop that would be seen by many rooms,” Brosnihan said to Rhode Island Monthly. “The bus stop signal goes right over the Hot Club, so their neon sign became the marker that I told the kids to focus on.”
After Steve recruited a handful of Providence businesses to participate, including the Hot Club, “Good Night Lights” gained traction, eventually spreading throughout the Providence area. Within the view of Hasbro Children’s Hospital, businesses, universities, and police departments joined in to pause and illuminate each evening’s “minute of magic.”
Tockwotton residents now gather with flashlights at west-facing windows to send their message.
“Residents really look forward to this and they gear up for it,” said Timothy Anderson, Tockwotton’s activities director. “They’re full of life and they’re really loving this whole idea that we’re still part of everything, we’re still part of the community. You really feel the excitement.”
The patients of Hasbro Children’s Hospital, typically eager to respond, assemble in darkened rooms with their own sources of light and flash back to the surrounding communities. For 60 seconds, patients engage in a luminous dialogue with residents.
“Good Night Lights has been such a simple, yet powerful, rallying point for our community to come together and support the young patients in our Hasbro Children’s Hospital,” said Rhode Island Hospital President Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH. “This nightly communication between the hospital and our neighbors in and around Providence is a high point of the day for many of our children and their families. We’re so grateful to the businesses, police departments and others who’ve made it such a success.”