Bright Light event set to show gratitude to unsung heroes
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.
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.
“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.”
“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.
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.
Chadwick said other communities can still host their own “bright light” event as well.
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.”