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Donation helps Christmas tradition continue on

December 29, 2011

A group of residents of Stone Ridge Estates continued a Christmas luminaria tradition dating back to 1976 with this year's presentation.

This year's program, which serves as a fundraiser for the East Greenwich Human Services Holiday Food Basket Program, was made possible by donations from residents and a $1,080 donation from Jim Matthews of Matthews Oil.

An estimated 2,600 luminaria were used to decorate curbs, walks and driveways, with donations, participants and luminaria varying somewhat year to year.

The program began in 1976, when fewer than 20 families lived in Stone Ridge during its earliest stages of development, said Anne Sauerbrey, one of the event's organizers. The Scott family, which had moved into town from New Mexico, suggested bringing the Mexican tradition to East Greenwich, and soon, the Hitchens family hosted and afternoon of luminaria-making by the neighborhood's women and children.

The bags were folded three times, once each for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and placed along the neighborhood's walks and curbs. Participants also collected donations for local civic groups.

At various times, other local neighborhoods, including the Hill and Harbour district, have held luminaria events of their own.

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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