On December 28, The Dutch Cancer Society illuminated Soestdijk Palace with a heart of more then 25.000 lanterns. For the third year in a row people could donate a lantern and place a handwritten name on it. More importantly, the lantern paved the way for Dutch people from all walks of life to share their story to show their loved ones they are not alone.
After the very successful first two years in which KWF installed lanterns on the Afsluitdijk and the geographical center the Netherlands, the Dutch Cancer Society invited donors to attend the lighting ceremony for the first time.
This year, Soestdijk Palace is the central location for thousands of lanterns in the shape of a big heart. The choice of Soestdijk Palace as a location for the lighthing ceremony is a reference to the long-standing relationship between the royal family and the fight against cancer. Queen Wilhelmina received a “National Gift” exactly 70 years ago for her Golden Government Anniversary and so she founded the Dutch Cancer Society.
One in three Dutch people have to suffer cancer. The end of the year is a reflective time for most people while they enjoy being with their loved ones. For people who have cancer, this can be a difficult time. That is why the Dutch Cancer Society would like to support them and show them they are not alone.
From December 6, throughout the Netherlands, the question “Who is your lantern burning for?” was at the center of various authentic portraits of unknown and famous Dutch people. The campaign could be seen via a television commercial, sponsored social media videos, YouTube ads, Out-of-Home ads and bannering.
When people donated, they are given the opportunity to have a lantern placed in the heart. In addition, they can add a story, wish or personal message via the landing page. Moreover, people could directly share a digital version of their donated lantern with friends and family via social media.
Last year Albert Verlinde, Edsilia Rombley and Vice President Lodewijk Asscher, among others, lit a lantern for a loved one. This year, among others, Gerard Joling, Wilfred Genee and Caroline Tensen are also donating a lantern.
On December 28 more then 25.000 lanterns came together in the shape of a big heart which was placed in the gardens of Soestdijk Palace, where each lantern and the accompanying story is unique. On this evening, the Dutch Cancer Society wanted to reflect on the stories of people who have cancer.