As president of the Grandview Civic Welfare Club, Jill Kuyper isn't just an advocate for the organization's annual luminaria sale.

She's also a customer.

In a typical year, Kuyper said, she and about seven or eight neighbors purchase the luminarias -- candles in paper bags, weighed down with sand -- and place them in an array near their homes on Lincoln Road..

"It gives our street and the community a real 'Christmas-y' atmosphere," she said. "You walk to the entrance to our street and look at all the candles lit up -- it's just beautiful."

The club's annual luminaria sale begins Saturday, Dec. 8, in the atrium at the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave.

"We always want to have as many streets and homes (as possible) lit up with the candles on Christmas Eve," said Carolyn Chavanne, who is serving as co-leader of this year's luminaria sale with Beverly Radcliffe.

Residents of other local streets, including Cambridge Boulevard, Wyandotte Road and Glenn Avenue, also light up their neighborhoods on Christmas Eve, Chavanne said.

"It can be almost like a friendly competition to see which street has the most candles out," she said.

"I'm always delighted to see the creative ways my neighbors come up with to display their candles," Kuyper said.

Chavanne said the club is asking residents to put their luminarias out on New Year's Eve instead if the weather turns nasty Dec. 24.

Club members will sell candles and supplies from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8 and 15, 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 and 16, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the library.

All proceeds from the sale will benefit the club's scholarship fund, which has provided about $46,000 in awards since 1996.

The club typically presents four $1,000 scholarships each spring, recognizing students for their academic achievement and community service, Chavanne said.

The sale prices remain the same this year, Chavanne said.

Votive candles, which burn for 10 hours, cost 55 cents; white bags cost 15 cents each, or $1.50 for a dozen. A bargain bag containing 12 candles and 12 bags cost $8. A $10 "grab and go" bag includes a bargain bag plus a lighter and sand -- all the components required to create luminarias.

To place an order, call Chavanne at 614-216-4162 or Radcliffe at 614-488-4962.

Along with the candles, club members also will sell knitted items and ornaments, Chavanne said.

"These are hand-knitted items, like mittens and winter hats and ornaments, that members of our club have made themselves," she said.

"Like the candles, they are festive items for the holiday season."

This year's sale includes a raffle of a gift-card tree.

"We had many businesses around town who have been so nice to donate gift cards to support our effort," Chavanne said. "The gift cards will be placed on the raffle tree as 'ornaments,' and it's one winner takes all."

Raffle tickets cost $1 each or six for $5.

The winning ticket will be drawn Dec. 17.

While the scholarship program is the main focus of the luminaria sale, the Grandview Civic Welfare Club completes other charitable efforts throughout the year, Kuyper said.

Over the past year, club members have provided assistance to a local family after a fire damaged their home, and the club also provides Christmas gifts and other assistance to area families who are experiencing hard times, she said.

"Our club's mission is to improve conditions in the community and to do work that benefits people in our community," Kuyper said.

For more information about the club, visit its Facebook page.

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