Light the Night returns to Manhasset villages Sunday

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Four Manhasset villages will participate in the annual Light the Night on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Annie Vetrone)

A yearslong tradition that started in Munsey Park returns to four Manhasset villages this weekend.

Light the Night, started by Munsey Park resident Tara Kirkwood in 2010, will illuminate the streets of Flower Hill, Munsey Park, Plandome and Plandome Heights beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Kirkwood said she began the event in Munsey Park after participating with a similar event before she moved from Brightwaters. Sponsored by the Munsey Park Women’s Club, the event has spread beyond what Kirkwood said she imagined.

“I thought it would be a great addition to the neighborhood, bringing people together and lighting up the whole town with spirit and goodness and candles,” Kirkwood said.

Since the inauguration, the Women’s Club of Flower Hill, the Plandome Association and the Plandome Heights Women’s Club have joined in the festivities, with each organization purchasing luminary kits from Skills Unlimited, an organization in Oakdale that offers people with disabilities the opportunity to explore and develop their full vocational potential.

Plandome Heights resident Josefina Jervis said the kits are $20 and contain supplies for 12 luminaries consisting of a small candle and a white bag. Kits are still available through the respective village organizations.

“We’ve been where they make the kits, and it’s pretty unbelievable what these young adults are doing in a time in their lives where they could be lost,” Kirkwood said. “It’s a very important time for people with certain disabilities to be busy with work.”

Plandome Heights was the latest village to join, Plandome Heights Women’s Club President Lillian Sears said.

“Manhasset sort of has a small-town feel, and we like to keep that going,” Sears said. “We like that the town is mostly lit up that night.”

Each organization donates proceeds to charity, with each organization choosing its own path revolving around a central theme.

Flower Hill resident Karen Barnes said a portion of the proceeds is always donated toward future village beautification projects and, if more is raised, will go to other local charities.

For luminaries in Munsey Park, email Peggy Sica at peggysica@gmail.com. For Flower Hill, email Barnes at karenbarnes221@gmail.com. For Plandome, email Annie Vetrone at avetrone3@gmail.com. For Plandome Heights, email the women’s club at phwc@live.com.

Plandome residents Vetrone and Ali Regan coordinate the event for the Plandome Association and both said the event is a wonderful way to bring neighbors together and ring in the holiday season with festive lights, hot chocolate and neighborly interactions on a typically chilly winter night.

“It’s one thing to pass the torch, but some of these women have made it better and continue the tradition,” Kirkwood said. “It’s expanded to different neighborhoods through the hard work of some of these women, and it’s very gratifying to see everyone build on a great idea.”

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