Photo provided by Kristen McBride Boothe

Photo provided by Kristen McBride Boothe

If you drive through Casa Linda Estates neighborhood in early-December and notice thousands of luminaries lighting up the neighborhood, it isn’t just a happy coincidence.

Casa Linda Estates Neighborhood Association (CLENA) is working with neighbors to illuminated the area as a part of a fundraiser. The fundraiser, dubbed Casa Linda Lights, is kicking off this year, but the creators hope to make it an annual tradition. Kristen McBride Boothe, one of the instigators behind the new tradition, says the fundraiser will benefit a different person or cause every year.

This year it will benefit East Dallas firefighter Jeff Patterson, who was seriously injured in a house fire in early May. Patterson received 3rd degree burns on 45 percent of his body and was in ICU for 110 days before being released for rehab. He returned home to his family in September, but he has undergone 23 surgeries and will probably go through a couple more, says Casa Linda Estates neighbor Veronica Long. While Patterson was hospitalized, his wife was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemo, radiation treatments and surgery. She is now cancer free.

“We just thought since it’s around the holidays, it would be really nice to be able to light up someone’s holiday by giving back,” McBride Boothe says. “Once we heard his story, everyone agreed it was his family we wanted to help.”

Casa Linda Lights raises money through the purchase of luminaries. CLENA sent out flyers to Casa Linda Estates, asking neighbors to sponsor the project by buying a set of 10 luminaries. What doesn’t go towards material goes directly to the beneficiary.

There are 465 homes in the area, which ordered more than 5000 lights this year.

“Some people bought multiple kits, so that doesn’t necessarily mean that every single house in the area will be lit up,” McBride Boothe says. “But CLENA has purchased a certain amount of lights, to help the houses that didn’t get sponsored. So we can at least get close, and maybe next year more people will participate.”

CLENA ordered the material for the kits and then began putting them together (as pictured above) and delivering them to neighbors earlier this month.

“I feel very positive about the fact that this neighborhood has been so willing to jump in and try something new,” McBride Boothe says. “I think it can be a really meaningful tradition for years to come.”

If you’d like to drive through Casa Linda Estates to take a look, the inaugural lighting will take place on Saturday, Dec. 6. CLENA is also asking neighbors to light their luminaries on Christmas Eve.

Neighbors outside of Casa Linda Estates cannot purchase luminaries, but neighbors who would like to get involved can donate directly to the Patterson family by writing a check to CLENA at P.O. Box 180817 Dallas, TX 75218. Learn more on the website.

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