OLEAN, NY – Candles will be lit around the world this Sunday in memory of all children who have left too soon.

The 16th annual ceremony of the “Worldwide Candle Lighting” will be held Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Olean First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on South Union Street. This event, held in communities around the globe, is organized by the Compassionate Friends.  As candles burn down in one time zone, they are lighted in the next, creating a 24-hour wave of light that encircles the globe.

The mother and grandmother of Noah Boser, who died in 2002 at the age of seven months while in the care of a local daycare provider, have sponsored this local Olean ceremony for the past 16 years.

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Both mother and grandmother spoke about the ceremony saying, “whether a child died recently or years ago, the loss is felt in our hearts forever. We sponsor our local ceremonies because we feel others might like to join us in memory of a child who was special to them. The children we mourn have died at all ages and from many different causes, but our love for them unites us. What better tribute to Noah and the other children in our communities who we so sorely miss?”

The candle lighting event is open to the general public. Parents, grandparents, families and friends, who would like to honor the memory of a child, are invited to bring a photograph or memento of their child to display during the memorial services. Candles will be provided.

Rev. Kim Rossi, Rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, will say a few words during the program. Music and poems will be featured as well. Anyone who would like to participate in any way is encouraged to do so.

A tree located in Olean Lincoln Park, facing Union Street near Santa’s mailbox, has been decorated in memory of children. The family of Kalen Sherlock, a kindergartner who died unexpectedly this past September, sponsors the tree this year.

People are encouraged to come throughout the holiday season and place ornaments on the tree in memory of their child/children or a child who was special to them.

For further information, or to register the name of the child you would like remembered, please contact Kathy Boser at 716-904-1838 or e-mail kboser@sbu.edu.  For family members and friends from other areas who may want to participate at a location near them, please refer to website: https://www.compassionatefriends.org/WCL/.

The site maintains the database of the candle lighting ceremonies being held in the United States and all around the globe. Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to light a candle at 7 p.m. in quiet remembrance wherever they may be.