Community to spread the ‘Light of Hope’ this Saturday night


  The Switzerland County FFA and the Community Foundation of Switzerland County will come together this Saturday night, September 18th, to raise funds for an important local cause.

  The “Spread the Light of Hope” candlelight luminary event will be held at the Switzerland County High School track this Saturday beginning at 6 p.m.

  This is the second time that the event has been held, starting in 2019 but then not being held last year due to the COVID pandemic.

  “The first year the FFA did this was in 2019, which was the year that Brooke Johnson was crowned our ‘Queen of Hearts’,” FFA advisor Greg Curlin said. “The Keeping Pace Cancer Fund program was her platform, so the candlelighting event was to help promote her platform. That was our first opportunity to see if we could create a ring all the way around the track, and everybody passed their candle and lit the next person’s candle — kind of like a relay.”

  This Saturday there will be a wide range of activities going on throughout the evening, and everyone is invited to come out and enjoy the evening.

  The PG-13 deejay service will be providing music during the event; and there will be areas for families and friends to set up chairs and tailgating areas for the night.

  “At 6 p.m. people can come in and start setting up an area if they’d like,” Curlin said. “They can set up anywhere on the grounds that they feel comfortable. Considering COVID, they can set up on the track or on the side of the track or in the bleacher area. They can have their lawn chairs or whatever. The first year we actually had families come in and set together as a family. They created an area and had all sorts of recreational things going on.”

  Curlin said that Switzerland County FFA members will have line dancing going on during the evening with everyone invited to participate; as well as music and other entertainment.

  The FFA is inviting cancer patients, survivors and families of those who have experienced the battle against cancer to attend and the community to support the cause.

  Upon entering the event that night, candles will be available for sake for $5 each; and the FFA will also have shirts for sale for $15. Donations buckets will also be located around the track area, and concessions will also be avaialble.

  Community Foundation of Switzerland County, Inc., executive director Tye Sullivan will give some remarks at the event; as well as a representative of the Women’s Giving Circle, another group within the Community Foundation.

  The plan is for everyone to take their candles at approximately 8:30 p.m. Saturday night and form a line around the track. At that point the first candle will be lit, with the flame being passed from candle to candle until all of the candles are lit — forming a ring of hope around the track.

  There will also be a moment of silence in memory of those who have fought cancer; as well as for those currently battling cancer.

  In 2019, Curlin believes that there were about 200 people in attendance.

  “Hopefully people will get out there and attend and support this important program,” Curlin said.

  All proceeds will go to the Keeping Pace Cancer Fund of Switzerland County.  We plan to honor all with a candle lighting ceremony.

  The Keeping Pace Cancer Fund is an endowment within the Community Foundation of Switzerland County that provides funds and items for county residents who are battling cancer. All of the funds placed in the endowment go strictly to Switzerland County residents.