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June 17, 2011 > Candle Lighters choose recipients of 2011 Ghost House funds

Candle Lighters choose recipients of 2011 Ghost House funds

By William Marshak

Halloween spirits still slumber within the historic Chadbourne Carriage House in Fremont, waiting for the long nights and chill winds of October. But a group responsible for their welfare and appearance each year is wide awake. The Candle Lighters, a local women's charitable organization founded in 1969, met Wednesday, June 15 to continue its mission of support for local causes.

Proceeds from visitors who come to catch a glimpse of Carriage House witches, ghouls and goblins are substantial due to the popularity of the attraction, sponsorships and volunteer efforts of the Candle Lighters and their spouses. From simple beginnings, this group has grown to more than 130 members and given over $1.5 million to a variety of organizations. It has been a source of local funding, free of bureaucratic red tape, and a catalyst for civic improvements including Aqua Adventure Water Park.

In June, as the heat of burgeoning summer days begins to emerge, traces of coming Ghost House activities become evident. A gathering of members at this time each year determines where hard-earned funds will be placed. Representatives of organizations that have submitted proposals are allowed to give a short presentation and ballots are marked. This year, funding priorities have been established as follows (top priority listed first):

1. HERS Breast Cancer Foundation - $7,987.00
Furniture and appliances for the "Hair with Care" area

2. Serra Center - $4,987.04
16 mattress sets

3. Tri-City Volunteers - $5,041.81
Products for sealing warehouse floor

4. Abode Services - $10,849.47
15 Twin bunk beds, 30 mattresses and 30 waterproof replacement covers

5. Fremont/Newark YMCA - $6,882.72
Materials and construction of two Gaga "Dodge Ball" pits

6. StarStruck Theatre - $4,007.00
Two 16-channel sound mixers to run microphones

7. Aqua Adventure Waterpark - City of Fremont Recreation Dept. - $9,817.78
Outdoor food cart for waterpark

8. Newark Memorial High School Drama Department - $6,199.00
Wireless headset communication system

9. Washington High School Theater Program - $3,948.00
Lighted vertical marquee sign

10. Fremont Parents' Nursery School - $7,800.00
Removal of old roof and installation of new roof

For more information about the Candle Lighters and 2011 Ghost House, visit or call (510) 796-0595.

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