Tri-Village News

Christmas Eve tradition relies on club's luminarias

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Grandview Civic Welfare Club's annual sale of luminarias begins Dec. 14.

Club members will sell candles and supplies Dec. 14-17 and Dec. 21-23 in the atrium of the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave.

The sale will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17.

All proceeds from the sale of candles benefit the club's scholarship fund.

Last year, the club presented $1,000 scholarships to three Grandview students, club member Deena Snapp said.

"I like to think of them as community scholarships, because if you gave us a donation and purchased a candle, you contributed to those scholarships," she said.

The prices for this year's sale are the same as last year, Snapp said.

Votive candles, which burn for 10 hours, cost 55 cents each. White bags cost 15 cents each or $1.50 for a dozen. A bargain bag -- 12 candles and 12 bags -- costs $7.50.

A "grab-and-go" bag, which includes 12 candles, 12 bags, a lighter and sand, costs $10.

"The grab-and-go bags are really popular because they are so convenient," Snapp said.

The sale has been a Grandview tradition since 1987, originally starting as a joint project with the Grandview Parks and Recreation Department, she said.

"The idea was to create a community activity to light up the neighborhoods on Christmas Eve with candles," Snapp said.

For a number of years, proceeds from the sale were used to benefit various community charities. The scholarship fund was created in 1996, Snapp said.

Since then, the club has awarded more than $26,000 in scholarships, she said.

A few years ago, the sale was expanded to include knitted items made by club members.

"The first year I knitted a small number of items just to see if they would sell," Snapp said.

This year, club members have been meeting weekly since September at the library to knit items such as caps, flap hats, scarves, and dolls made from leftover yarn.

"No two dolls are alike," Snapp said.

The knitted items cost $5, $10 or $15, she said.

"We just about sold out of the knitted gift items last year," Snapp said. "They're real attention-grabbers when people pass by our table at the library."

Residents on several Grandview and Marble Cliff streets join together each year to light up their neighborhoods on Christmas Eve.

"There's a number of streets that just look so beautiful," Snapp said. "Cambridge Boulevard looks especially beautiful with the candles and two churches."

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