Lights of Hope shine
for local charities
Dan Ivers, Record-Journal staff | Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011 9:28
CHESHIRE - One mile of Route 10 was alight with
thousands of luminaries again Saturday night for the town's annual Lights of
The tradition attracted hundreds to
High School during the
afternoon for a brief rally before the luminaries were placed along a one-mile
stretch - known as the "Mile of Hope" - from the school to the town
The luminaries are sold all year long in
anticipation of the lighting, which is accompanied by the ringing of church
bells around town at 7 p.m. Proceeds are then given to local
More than $40,000 in proceeds from this
year's sales were split among the town's Youth and
Social Services Department, the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, and the Petit
Family Foundation. A $2,500 scholarship was also awarded to Cheshire High School
Class of 2011 graduate Andrew Horowitz.
At the rally, organizers recalled the Oct.
29 snowstorm that plunged the community and much of the state into darkness for
nearly a week as utility companies scrambled to restore electricity. Much of the
money given to the town's Social Services department will help families in need
of fuel and heating assistance.
"We faced it for a week. Think of those
less fortunate who live it each day of their lives," said Town Council Chairman
Don Walsh - who founded Lights of Hope
with his wife, Jennifer, seven years ago - noted the large number of children at
the rally, and encouraged them to carry on the spirit of community wherever they
"This event has morphed into an event for
the youth," he said. "To teach kids the importance of serving
Dr. William Petit and various family
members also attended the event, and thanked organizers for their commitment to
"We're just so proud to be a part of
this," said Petit's sister, Johanna Petit-Chapman.
After the rally, Slocum said the event
helped bring the town together, and praised organizers for the intense amount of
work that goes into each year's celebration.