PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois CancerCare’s ‘Path of Hope’ Tribute Garden opened Friday, Dec. 10, in Peoria, celebrating 20 years of fighting cancer and the lives it has impacted.

The grand opening began with a ribbon-cutting, followed by festive drinks and food, a visit from Santa, and a luminaire lighting for loved ones.

Construction on the garden began this summer and was funded by the Illinois CancerCare Foundation, also paying tribute to the foundation’s 20 years of work. Greg Gerstner, the foundation’s president, said it’s one of the ways they can honor patients and loved ones affected by cancer.

“We’re so proud of the work that everybody put into bringing this all together, to honor our patients and their family members, and all the fight and struggle they have with cancer,” Gerstner said. “It’s a nice way for them to be able to commemorate, and to celebrate, and to remember.”

People are able to dedicate benches, pavers, and trees for loved ones in the garden, and individuals finished with treatment can ring a celebratory bell in the ‘Survivor’s Circle.’

To learn more about the ‘Path of Hope’ garden or the foundation, visit Illinois CancerCare Foundation’s website.