Lights of Hope returns to Cheshire Academy campus

November 12, 2019


Approximately 5,000 luminaries—white bags filled with sand and one lit candle inside—lined buildings and walkways throughout Cheshire Academy on Saturday as a part of the townwide Cheshire’s Lights of Hope event.


Now in its 15th year, Lights of Hope started as a neighborhood fundraising program organized by co-founders Don and Jenifer Walsh. Originally, donations were provided to the Cheshire Relay for Life event.


On July 23, 2007—prior to Lights of Hope’s third year—Cheshire Academy nurse and Richmond Health Center Director Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley and Michaela Petit, were brutally murdered in a home invasion that shook the CA and local communities. In response, the Walsh family heard the call and turned their neighborhood fundraiser into a townwide program.


Every year, Cheshire Academy students, faculty, and staff fundraise for Lights of Hope and work together to decorate the school campus with luminaries on the day of the event. Our team annually designs different displays, spelling out words like “Hope” and peace sign symbols throughout campus. The event reminds everyone who passes by to do their part in making the world a better place.


Off campus, Cheshire Academy students work with Lights of Hope volunteers by unloading truckloads of luminaries, as well as creating kits for purchase and delivery to local neighborhoods.


Photos from this year’s Lights of Hope can be found on our Flickr page.