Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Luminaria Fundraiser Lights up the Town

Luminaria Fundraiser Lights up the Town

Photo by Greg Hoy

Photo by Greg Hoy

Members of the Wallingford-Swarthmore community, cast your minds back to the evening of Tuesday, January 1, 2019, and you should be able to picture how beautiful the streets looked, lined with glowing luminaria. Wallingford and Nether Providence neighborhoods that who recently joined Swarthmore in this annual event, some who light their luminaria on January 1 and some at other times over the holidays. Regardless of time or place, the fruition of the 2018-2019 Luminaria fundraiser was a beautiful sight. Now it is time to thank everybody involved and share with the community the success of the event.

The Strath Haven Luminaria Club raised $33,000 for ABC-Strath Haven and access to community extracurriculars. Student leaders are (left to right) Lizzy Healy, Sarah McAndrews, Kate McAndrews, Emma Forbes, Gillian Brennan, Erin O’Brien, Bella Hunter, Gretchen Clauss (missing from picture: Sophie Haase, Greta Hiehle, Lydia Elia, Maeve Clark).

The Strath Haven Luminaria Club raised $33,000 for ABC-Strath Haven and access to community extracurriculars. Student leaders are (left to right) Lizzy Healy, Sarah McAndrews, Kate McAndrews, Emma Forbes, Gillian Brennan, Erin O’Brien, Bella Hunter, Gretchen Clauss (missing from picture: Sophie Haase, Greta Hiehle, Lydia Elia, Maeve Clark).

Starting from the beginning of the process, the first group to thank is the Luminaria Club at Strath Haven High School. This group of energetic students dedicates a whole Saturday to scoop sand, count candles, and sing at their top of their lungs, assembling the approximately twenty- five thousand luminaria kits. The student leaders are responsible for ordering supplies, arranging delivery, and ensuring over 200 of their SHHS classmates are on hand at “the Factory” throughout the day. Without the Luminaria Club, there simply would be no fundraiser.

The next group to thank is the wonderful block captains - your neighbors who encourage residents on their street to participate by buying luminaria to light the length of their sidewalks. The block captains pick up the block order from “the Factory” at the end of December and distribute individually to each resident at this busy time of the year. We cannot thank them enough for their dedication and hard work, so please thank your own block captains next time you see them.

We would be remiss if we did not thank Swarthmore College for the thousand ways they support this event. Without the use of their building which we call “the Factory,” the production, storage, and distribution of the luminaria would not be nearly as streamlined and seamless as it is. The College is also very generous in ensuring that the large stretch of North Chester Road through the middle of the Borough is illuminated each year. Thank you, Swarthmore College!

Finally, the Luminaria Fundraiser would not occur if it wasn’t for the generosity of the residents of Wallingford and Swarthmore who support this annual fundraiser. We thank you for participating and encourage you to introduce yourselves to new neighbors and spread the word in years to come.

This year, we raised a total of $33,000! $27,000 will be donated to A Better Chance Strath Haven. The ABC House depends on this annual fundraiser to contribute to its operating budget. In recent years,  many residents pointed out that there are students within our school community who are not able to participate in the wide array of extracurricular activities that are offered in the area. The Luminaria Club and its team determined that this year a total of $6,000 will be donated to ASK and the Sunshine Funds of the five schools within the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District to support student participation in non-school based extracurricular activities.

Thank you to the students, the block captains, the college, and especially all of you neighbors who make this annual event such a treasured part of living in these communities. See you next winter!

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