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Norwood - Local Town Pages

Luminary Night Shines for its 20th Season

by Bella Caggiano
The Circle of Hope’s Luminary Night was able to be held last year as it was an outdoor event. This year, as the world returns to a ‘new normal,’ it is more important than ever to remember those who have past and those who continue to need local help and support. The Circle of Hope’s Luminary Night will be held on Saturday, December 4, 4-6 p.m. on Norwood’s Town Common. The evening will have a few changes, but most importantly, loved ones will still be able to commemorate a memory for a loved one.
Another small change continues for everyone’s safety this year and luminaries will not be available for purchase the night of the event. Residents can purchase a luminary in advance for $5 by sending a payment to: COH, P.O. Box 421, Norwood, MA 02062 or at Murph’s Place, 58 Broadway, Norwood. A brief message of life, hope, and/or a loved one’s name can be included in the envelope. 
All residents are invited to the Town Gazebo in commemoration of loved ones and to support Norwood’s compassionate community from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. It is a magnificent sight to stroll through the Town Common where walkways are radiated with luminaries and read the touching engravings commenorating an individual, message, prayer, or date as a symbol of life, hope, the season or in remembrance of others. Anyone attending is asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing.   
Even with stricter health precautions and financial burdens last year from the pandemic, residents clearly felt the importance of remembrance and aid with 1,800 luminaries ‘lighting up’ the Town Common generating an incredible glow of encouragement for the community. The fundraiser raised over $10,000 for the Circle of Hope foundation.
“When it’s done, it is absolutely beautiful,” Circle of Hope member Lee Kennedy said. “It’s very moving to see these candles and know that every one represents a person, prayer or event.”
The Circle of Hope foundation was established in 1998 in memory of Norwood resident Michelle Kennedy, who suffered from leukemia. Norwood residents united during her battle, many who did not even know her personally. The Circle of Hope established in her memory preserves that community spirit by donating fundraising proceeds to Norwood families who need assistance due to a catastrophic medical illness.
“The people of Norwood who support us are the actual Circle of Hope,” Kennedy said. “We do the fundraising and the people who support us allow us to do what we do.”
Even residents not directly involved in the evening make a special trip to Norwood’s Town Common to view this spectacular site and take a moment to remember someone close to them. This is an evening of communal celebration that truly delivers the spirit of the holidays.