Andona lights up the holidays

RYAN HUTTON/Staff photoCampbell Allardi, 13, uses a staple gun to mount tea lights in paper bags to large letters spelling "Love & Kindness'' as part of the Andona organization's efforts last year. 

Holiday decorating with an Andona touch happens Dec. 21, as the local group hosts its fifth annual "Shine the Light" FUNdraiser.

"Shine the Light on Andover" raises money and is a community-building event that takes place annually on the winter solstice, Dec. 21.

“The luminaries are a beautiful and festive way to decorate front steps or walkways, and many neighborhoods have made it an annual tradition that includes neighborhood strolls and gatherings to view the displays,” said Renee Poor, Shine the Light Committee chair.

The luminary kits cost $20 and include 10 bags and tea lights, a book containing coupons from local sponsors, and an entry into a raffle featuring a variety of prizes.

“This year we switched to battery-operated tea lights in our kits which increased our costs but enables everyone to safely take part,” Poor said.

Again this year, Andona is partnering with the Andover Youth Center to help it shine this holiday season.

"Participants may choose to purchase a second kit for the Youth Center to help them 'Shine the Light' while increasing their odds in the raffle," said Linda Haskell, Andona president. “Andona sincerely appreciates the generosity of all those who have supported this event and our Andover youth.”

To learn more about the event or to purchase a kit, visit Kits will also be available for sale at the Holiday Happenings event in downtown Andover on Dec. 13.

Andona is a non-profit organization run by volunteers dedicated to raising money to support young people in Andover. Andona’s roots, dating back to 1952, are embedded in the idea of giving back to the community. The name Andona is a combination of the word “Andover” and the latin word “Dona,” which means “to give.”

Andona hosts two fundraising events annually — Shine the Light on the Winter Solstice and Clowntown the third weekend in May. Money raised from these events goes to Andover youth programs.

Since the organization's founding, the women of Andona have raised more than $1 million for Andover families. To learn more, join or donate, visit




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