Hundreds of families will adorn their lawns with luminaries at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, in support of Family Centers' annual Hope Lights Lives fundraiser.

A primarily volunteer-driven effort, Hope Lights Lives is reliant on the hundreds of block captains who sell luminary kits to their neighbors and family. Kit sales make up a large percentage of the fundraiser's income, which benefits Family Centers' grief and bereavement services offered by through Center for HOPE and the Den for Grieving Kids. However, with so many area people affected by Hurricane Sandy, kit sales took a back seat.

"The storm essentially knocked out a two-week window in early November in which many of our kits have sold in the past," said Aleksa Lazarewicz, Family Centers' special events manager. "Despite their best efforts, many of our volunteers simply couldn't sell the kits due to extended power outages or downed trees." To help make kits available to residents who were unable to place orders with block captains, several local businesses have agreed to keep them in stock.

Retailers currently selling luminary kits are M Milestones and Walter Stewart's Market in New Canaan. In Darien, Aux Delices, Center for HOPE, Michael Joseph Catering, Nielsen's Florist and Garden Shop,

Palmer's Market and Swimm Pools. In Rowayton, Rowayton Wine Shop.

Luminary kits are $25 and contain 12 tea light candles, 12 white paper bags and 12 plastic candle holders. All proceeds benefit the Center for HOPE and the Den for Grieving Kids, Family Centers' critical illness and bereavement support programs.

"Hope Lights Lives" is sponsored by Splash Car Washes, Hoffman Landscapes, Swimm Pools, Yankee Candle Village, Seigel Reilly & Conlon, Rucci Law Group, GE Capital, Kaia Yoga, Keno Graphics, People's United Bank, Pet Pantry Warehouse, Walter Stewart's Market and Sterling Brands.

For information, call Aleksa Lazarewicz at 203-869-4848 or visit

Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. More than 1,700 professionals and trained volunteers work together to provide a wide range of responsive, innovative programs. A United Way, Community Fund of Darien and New Canaan Community Foundation partner agency, Family Centers is a member of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies and the Alliance for Children and Families and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

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