Bright Light event set to show gratitude to unsung heroesBy GRETYL MACALASTER
Union Leader Correspondent November 17. 2013 9:40PM
RAYMOND — For the fourth year in a row, local healers and businesses will honor those who serve communities on a daily basis with the “Bright Light Event of Gratitude.”
The event aims to honor those who serve as the “backbone” of communities, including teachers and other school staff, fire, police and emergency personnel and area town officials, on the Friday afternoon before Thanksgiving.
This year, the event will be held on Nov. 22 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Raymond Safety Complex.
Organizer Alaya Chadwick said Bright Light events are being held in nine additional states this year, either by individuals or group events like that being held in Raymond.
In Raymond, 225 invitations were sent to local teachers and associated staff and 125 invitations were sent to police, fire and town officials in Raymond, Fremont, Nottingham and Candia.
“We wanted to do something to bring the awareness to the citizens and business owners of gratitude, of just being grateful,” organizer and local aesthetician Yvonne Laurence said. “How often does the guy who takes care of the cemetery get thanked, or the janitor in the schools? These are the people that we want to say thank you to.”
She said this year the response from local businesses has been greater than ever, and invitees who attend the Bright Light event will have the opportunity to enter raffles for a variety of gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses, or for a flat-screen television.
In addition, local Reiki healers and massage therapists will set up tables and chairs for neck massages, back massages, Reiki therapy and an energy treatment called “The Rings of Odin,” which can help boost immune systems.
Refreshments will be offered, including homemade baked goods from area residents.
“The neatest thing in the world is to see a policeman in full uniform with the bullet proof vest lying on a Reiki table. It is really cool and they love it; they are open-minded about it,” Laurence said.
Big turnout expected
She said typically they get 50 to 100 attendees but are expecting a much bigger turnout this year.
She said the first year they held the event, she was struck by the “deer in headlights look” on the faces of attendees trying to swallow the gratitude.
“They just don’t know what to say, and it touched our hearts that they should be hearing this every day, not just the holidays or during a bright light event. This should be a common occurrence, and it just doesn’t happen,” Laurence said.
She said even if an event is not happening nearby, individuals can still take part by doing simple things, like saying thank you or bringing a plate of brownies to town hall.
Chadwick said other communities can still host their own “bright light” event as well.
Bringing light to the dark
They define a “bright light” as someone who “brightens up the dark for others” or an event or action that focuses on “celebration and elevation.”
“What we want to do is to get that Friday before Thanksgiving every year (and having) people saying ‘Thank you, your presence matters,’” Chadwick said. “We are not thanking them in response to a crisis; we are thanking them because their presence matters, just for being there.”
Both women are willing to provide information on how to hold a bright light event. Chadwick can be reached at the Whole Point Institute by calling 895-4530 or Laurence at Avalon Holistic Retreat Center by calling 895-3040.
“We want people to do this,” Chadwick said.