Nov. 12 will be the last time Cheshire's Lights of Hope will host their annual luminary event to unite the town and honor the victims in the Cheshire home invasion.
For 17 years, Don Walsh and his wife Jenifer have hosted an annual luminary event to unite the town and for the last 15, to honor the lives of Jennifer Hawke Petit and her two daughters, Hayley and Michaela. They were killed during a 2007 home invasion.
The event, turned non-profit was named Cheshire's Lights of Hope.
"The entire town was shocked, devastated and they were hurting and we wanted to find a way to pull the town together somehow," Walsh said.
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Walsh explained why he and his wife are stepping away form the organization they built from the ground up.
"My wife and I have been dedicated to this organization for all these years," Walsh said.
"As we move on, we want to be able to give all our time that we can to it, and if we don't feel we can do that, we thought it was time to step aside," he continued.
In 17 years, Cheshire's Lights of Hope has raised $1.1 million.
All of the proceeds go to local Cheshire charities, like Cheshire's food pantry, a scholarship fund, the YMCA, and the Petit Family Foundation.
Walsh said he spoke with Petit about the final event.
"I think he will tell you that he can understood why we are stepping aside, I know he appreciates what we have done," Walsh said.
So we asked him ourselves.
"I know the entire Board of Directors, especially my family, my sister Hannah, my brother Glen, who were very much involved with Lights of Hope. I thank Don and Jen Walsh for everything they've done through the years to not only help us, but to help many people in the local community, in Cheshire, and they've really done a lot of work over 20 years," Petit said.
A ceremony will be held on Nov. 12 across from Town Hall on the green at 2 p.m.
Checks will be presented to recipients from several local charities. Luminaries will be lit and set up along the road from Cheshire High School to Cheshire Academy.
For more information on how you can get involved and how to donate, click here.