TORONTO - The city chambered-sponsored light-up night is set for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 20 at the city's gazebo commons.
The event once again this year will raise funds for the city unit of the Salvation Army's Home Heating Assistance program through the sale of memorial luminaria, according to organizer Dani Swearingen.
"The master of ceremonies will be (Jefferson County Commissioner) Tom Graham," said Swearingen adding the community Christmas tree also will be lit that evening. "A pupil from Karaffa Elementary School made the ornaments on the tree."
SPECIAL NIGHT PLANNED — Toronto resident Dani Swearingen displays some of the memorial luminaria to be lit during the Toronto Ohio Chamber of Commerce’s Light-Up Night set for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 20 at the city’s gazebo commons. The luminaria, purchased in memory or honor of a loved one, will be lit during the event. All proceeds raised from the sale of the luminaria go toward the Toronto Unit of the Salvation Army’s Home Heating Assistance program. - Mark Miller
One pupil from the school also will flip the switch and light the tree, she added.
The Rev. Josh Elliot, pastor of the Riverview United Methodist Church, will be guest speaker, while city residents Don Clarke and Jay Foster will present the luminaria to friends and loved ones, according to Swearingen.
"Beth Rupert-Warren also will sing Christmas carols," said Swearingen, adding fireworks after the ceremony also may be part of the event.
Memorial luminaria are $6 for each or two for $10, and order forms can be found at the Toronto post office, Margaret's Cafe, Clarke Funeral Home, Toronto Apothecary pharmacy and the Toronto High School Alumni Office, said Swearingen.
"The deadline to (buy luminaria) is Nov. 16," continued Swearingen, adding funds raised through the sale of the luminaria will be presented to the Salvation Army that evening. She also said witnessing family members presented with the memorials is an emotional experience.
"Whenever (those presented with the memorial luminaria) loved ones' names are called, they embrace the (luminaria) like it's their loved one," said Swearingen. "It's a very moving ceremony.
"We also are accepting monetary donations (toward the heating assistance program) if donors don't wish to purchase a luminaria," Swearingen continued.
To make a donation or to purchase a luminaria, call (740) 537-1250 or (740) 537-4355.