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July 2, 2008 > Candle Lighters give back and get involved

Candle Lighters give back and get involved

By Dustin Findley

Each year, the Candle Lighters, a non-profit organization conducts a special annual fundraiser - The Ghost House - to raise money for non-profit groups and projects of the Tri-Cities. Members, families, sponsors and friends transform the Chadbourne Carriage House on Fremont Boulevard in Fremont into a lair of ghosts, witches, jack-o-lanterns, and family-friendly frights for the last two weeks of October. Each executive member of The Candle Lighters pledges a minimum of 50 hours of on-site help per year - construction, costumes, and sharing the magic of this eventful extravaganza.

In order to determine which organizations will receive funds from that year's Ghost House proceeds, Candle Lighters members listen to proposals for projects, then vote on which organizations will receive specific funds and in what order. The money is donated on a "first come- first serve" basis.

This year, eight groups with different financial needs ranging from $1000 to $10,000 asked to be considered. According to President Mary Lang, if the Candle Lighters raise $35,000, like they did last year, the first five groups will receive the full amount of their requests. Lang hopes to raise enough money so that all groups and projects can be funded.

The following are groups and projects that the Candle Lighters have voted to support. The number indicates in which order these groups will receive available funds.

1. Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments.
Thirty-two mattresses to furnish children's counseling room.
$8, 451.88

2. Tri-City Homeless Coalition
Twenty bunk beds, with mattresses, for family sleeping rooms.
$10, 439.80

3. City of Fremont Senior Center
Lobby furniture.
$6, 132.01

4. Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
Flatbed scanners
$1, 749.95

5. Fremont Family Resource Center
Bicycle lockers.
$2, 966.29

6. Kidango
Furniture for dramatic play areas.
$8, 227.00

7. Star Struck Productions
Black adagio dance floor for rehearsal studio.
$4, 800.00

8. Fremont Chamber of Commerce
Electronic presentation projector, screen, and laptop.
$3, 898.51

The Candle Lighters are looking for a few committed individuals who want to help continue their good works in the Tri-City community. Prospective members must work a minimum of 20 hours at the Ghost House to be considered for membership the following year. Two Candle Lighter sponsors are required to sign a membership petition. For those interested in becoming a member of The Candle Lighters, please call (510) 796-0595 or write to or The Candle Lighters, P.O. Box 174, Fremont, CA 94537

For more information, visit or call (510)796-0595.

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