CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - More than 4,000 people gathered in Romare Bearden Park Saturday night for the 2017 Light the Night Charlotte put on by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Carolina. The fun began at 4:30 p.m. and ended after a walk through uptown with fireworks to cap things off.
It is a moving event and a beautiful way to lift up those battling cancer, those who have survived it, and those who are no longer with us.
This was the 12th year LLS has put on 'Light the Night'. It's a major fundraiser for research, treatment, and patient services. This year, in the beautiful park, teams raised just under one million dollars, although donations were still coming in, so they probably exceeded their goal!
The title of the event is quite literal. We light the dark night's sky with colored lanterns. It's remarkable, moving…breathtaking.
First, we invited our survivors to gather in a circle of community in the center of the park. They held white lanterns, to represent hope and healing.
We then invited those who were there to remember a loved one to turn on their gold lanterns.
Slowly, before my eyes, this darkened park started twinkling with lights of white and yellow.
We asked the rest of us, those there to support the cause to find a cure to cancer to turn on their red lanterns. Then everyone raised their lanterns in solidarity, to make 'someday' today!
The misty air added to the beauty of the lighted lanterns. We cried, hugged strangers, held hands, and walked through uptown.
It was a huge success, and I am just so grateful I was exactly where I was meant to be Saturday night. I thank every family who allowed me to celebrate the night with them. It was more moving than even video can depict.
Learn more about the good work of Leukemia Lymphoma Society of North Carolina here https://www.lls.org/north-carolina