OLEAN, NY — This year’s local ceremony of the “Worldwide Candle Lighting,” in memory of all children who have left too soon, will be returning to its original location in Lincoln Park (corner of East State and South Union streets) on Dec. 8 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Believed to be the largest mass candle lighting, this event held in communities around the globe is organized by The Compassionate Friends and held every year on the second Sunday in December, with candles lighted at 7 p.m. in every time zone. 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.

Beth and Kathy Boser, 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 18 years.

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The Bosers stated, “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 in Olean is open to the general public. Because it will be held outside, participants are encouraged to dress warmly. Parents, grandparents, siblings, families and friends who would like to honor the memory of a child who left too soon, are invited to bring a photograph or memento of their child to display during the memorial services. Light refreshments will be available, and some candles will be provided.

The program will include music and poems, and children’s names will be read to coincide with candle lighting at 7 p.m., which will be held around the Children’s Memorial Tree located in the park. Participants will also have an opportunity to place an ornament on the tree in memory of their child/children or a child who was special to them, if they have not already had an opportunity to do so.

Anyone who would like to participate in any way are encouraged to contact the sponsors. For further information, please contact Kathy Boser at 716-904-1838 or e-mail: kboser@sbu.edu.

Family members and friends from other areas who may want to participate at a location near them should refer to this website: https://www.compassionatefriends.org/event/23rd-annual-worldwide-candle-lighting/. The site maintains the database of the Candle Lighting ceremonies being held in the United States and all around the globe.

People who are not able to attend an organized event are encouraged to light a candle at 7 p.m. in quiet remembrance wherever they may be.

The Compassionate Friends is a national nonprofit, self-help support organization that offers friendship and understanding to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. There is no religious affiliation and there are no membership dues or fees.