Glowing candles will soon line the streets of neighborhoods across the Triangle and beyond as a part of the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill’s 23rd annual Light A Luminary Project. The project brings together over 40 local communities in honor of the families staying at the House who are unable to be home during the holidays due to their children’s serious illness or injuries.
During December, the House is offering luminary kits for sale at $10, each containing supplies for ten luminaries. All proceeds from the project benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. Last year alone, the Light-A-Luminary project raised $70,000.
Every neighborhood has a coordinator, or group of coordinators, who organize the community’s luminary efforts. Each neighborhood chooses a lighting night that works best for their community. The luminary lighting is a special night for young and old alike as they usher in the holiday season and illuminate their neighborhoods with the beautiful glow of candlelight.
Over the years, we have had the honor of working with many neighborhoods and their wonderful coordinators.
Nancy is the neighborhood coordinator for Creek Wood this year. She first got involved with the event as a way to show gratitude for all of the healthy children in her life. “The luminary project raises funds for the House while bringing our community together for this common goal,” she said. “It has turned into one of my favorite nights of the year!”
Every year, in addition to surrounding the neighborhood clubhouse in luminaries, the Governors Club neighborhood also hosts a neighborhood dinner party. Jane, one of the neighborhood coordinators this year first got involved with the project for her love of children and the care and support they receive at the Ronald McDonald House. “It’s a fun evening for all ages and a great way to usher in the Christmas holidays,” she said. Jane is joined by two additional coordinators, Marty and Pat.
Mike is currently serving as the neighborhood coordinator for The Hills at Southpoint. He first got involved with Light A Luminary when he moved to a participating neighborhood in Chapel Hill. He brought the project with him when he moved to Durham. “We combined the neighborhood HOA Christmas Holiday Party with the Luminary event,” he said. “Everyone gets to enjoy the lights on their way from the party! It is a spectacular event and a wonderful charity to help expand. “
David’s neighborhood, Anderson Forest, has been participating in the project for over ten years. The neighborhood works together to purchase enough luminaries to light the entire neighborhood on Christmas Eve. “It provides for a magical evening that draws the entire neighborhood out in the street. In fact it looks like a ‘landing strip’ for Santa Claus that provides even more excitement for the young kids in the neighborhood,” he said. But for David, the most rewarding part of the project is visiting the house to drop off contributions and pick up luminary kits “It is always a truly rewarding and humbling experience; and to see the growth and expansion at the RMH over the past few years has indeed been spiritually uplifting,” he said.
Tim has been involved with the project for nearly 20 different years, in two different neighborhoods. This year, he is
serving as the coordinator for Governors Village. For Tim, the project holds multiple meanings. “First and foremost, it raises funds for a great organization that supports families during very difficult times in their lives. I can see first hand how the funding we raise is put to good use,” he said. “The annual event is a great way for neighborhoods to come together and a build a stronger sense of community during the holiday season. It is also fun for families to participate and provides an opportunity for children to learn about the value of community service. Finally, our neighborhood always looks so beautiful when the luminaries are lit.”