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02 January, 2015

Shine the Light on Hunger - UPDATE


As of today January 2015 final totals for food donations. 
Our tireless team has taken another 3 loads to the local food banks 
Total Food donations: 10,920 pounds
Total Donations: $42,190 (includes 35,000 from Running of the Balls

Happy New Years
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The Lights Shine Bright IN Port Huron MI

This lovely photo is taken from the beach in Lake Huron MI.  Our neighbor Teri, who has a growing and marvelous collection of Lighted Christmas Balls in Sunset Hills, introduced her parents to our tradition.  They in turn have embraced this crazy tradition and inspired others during multiple workshops in Port Huron. Each year their community puts up more and more Lighted Christmas Balls along the beach and now down the side streets.  I would love to see them from the water........maybe some day we will make the journey.  Thanks Teri for sharing this photo.  
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29 December, 2014

Update

7492 pounds taken to the food banks as of this morning.  We probably have another 1000 pounds boxed and ready to take

$36690 cash and checks sent to GUM and Second Harvest (35,000 came from Running of the Balls)


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26 December, 2014

On the Second Day of Christmas friends and neighbors brought cash, checks, and canned food for the hungry.


Good morning
That little cardboard gift box which sits on our foyer table & contains the $$$ entrusted to us curbside any evening we are "out front."  I counted it this morning and it contains $803 which includes $310 in checks sent to us by friends and neighbors.  6299 pounds of food delivered so far and there are pending deliveries to Greensboro Urban Ministry of canned food.  I will post those new totals as soon as I have them.  




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18 December, 2014

Greetings from Marietta GA

We received this email today from Marietta GA. 
Hello: I wanted you to know how your balls have made their way to my hometown, Marietta, GA :)
Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Holiday spirit shines on Marietta s Maple Avenue  
Holiday spirit shines on Marietta’s Maple Avenue
by Sally Litchfield
December 06, 2014 09:22 PM | 3127 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Stacy and Hank Blake learn how to create Christmas light balls to hang from the branches of trees in his yard for this year’s holiday season with Leslie Leonard and her mother, Jill, at the home of Sarah and John Bullington on Maple Avenue in Marietta. Families gathered in early November to make the balls by hand using chicken wire. <br>Staff-Kelly J. Huff
Stacy and Hank Blake learn how to create Christmas light balls to hang from the branches of trees in his yard for this year’s holiday season with Leslie Leonard and her mother, Jill, at the home of Sarah and John Bullington on Maple Avenue in Marietta. Families gathered in early November to make the balls by hand using chicken wire.
Staff-Kelly J. Huff
Nancy Steele carefully bends the sharp edges of chicken wire into the shape of a ball at the home of Sarah and John Bullington.
Nancy Steele carefully bends the sharp edges of chicken wire into the shape of a ball at the home of Sarah and John Bullington.
Noel Rowe and John Bullington show their neighbors on Maple Avenue how to secure the support lines for the ornaments with a potato launcher to lift the colorful lite orbs skyward.
Noel Rowe and John Bullington show their neighbors on Maple Avenue how to secure the support lines for the ornaments with a potato launcher to lift the colorful lite orbs skyward.
Spheres of light seem to float magically in the trees on Maple Avenue and the surrounding area (off Kennesaw Avenue near the Marietta Square) this time of year. The historic Marietta neighborhood gathers in early November to prepare the lighted Christmas balls for the holiday season.

“We took the idea for the Christmas balls from Sunset Hills in Greensboro, N.C.,” said Marietta resident Susan G. Reid, who attended graduate school at UNC Greensboro in North Carolina said.

“I had friends that lived in Sunset Hills and I saw (the balls). I thought, ‘Wouldn’t this be the perfect thing for our neighborhood in Marietta?’” she said.

Reid’s family started the tradition four years ago when she and husband Noel Rowe hoisted the first balls in their yard. “It’s been one of those things I wanted to do. We did it the first year and were the only house,” said Reid, who works as television and film agent for Atlanta Models & Talent. The couple has one daughter: Phoebe, a second-grader at Westside Elementary.

Neighbors inquired how to make the balls.

“We showed a handful of neighbors how to make them the second year,” Reid said.

Last year in early November, her neighbor, Sarah Bullington, organized a potluck where neighbors came together with materials to make the orbs.

“A lot people started jumping on board with the potluck that Sarah organized,” she said.

To make the balls, Reid said chicken wire is rolled like a tube and weaved together to form a sphere. “It doesn’t have to be a perfect circle. Once they get up in the tree, you can’t tell the round ones from the oblong ones. At night you’re just seeing the glow of them,” Reid said.

Standard Christmas lights are then used to cover the form and connected to one another, leaving a small part of the electric wire out to plug into an extension cord. Another line is attached to the ball to secure it once the orb is up in the tree.

“The tougher part is getting the lines up in the trees. That’s the reason I had to get my husband on board with this whole idea,” she said.

Potato guns made from PVC pipes are used to hoist the balls up in the trees. Neighbors typically put the balls up around Thanksgiving and light them the first Thursday in December.

“It’s hard not for Christmas to be everybody’s favorite holiday. Christmas is special on so many different levels. There’s something so magical about it. There’s something about these lights and seeing them and the layers of them in the neighborhood. It’s just magical. It brings out the best part of the holiday in all of us when you see them and have that kind of spirit through the lights. It’s brought to life,” Reid said.

Reid suggests doing a Google search on Sunset Hills, Greensboro, N.C., for a detailed tutorial on making the Christmas balls. 

Maple Avenue recently won an award from the city for the best decorated street and town thanks to your inspiration.  We've been going strong for four years but for some reason, 2014 was THE year for the orbs to really multiply and dazzle.  Street after street in our neighborhood is glistening with chicken wire and Christmas lights.  I hope to get some better picture of some at night to send to you.
Thank you for sharing your story with us and creating a new tradition for my childhood neighborhood!

Best,
Amanda
Kennesaw Avenue, Maple Avenue, Stewart Avenue
Marietta, GABookmark and Share

15 December, 2014

A beautiful day in the Neighborhood


Tire nearly flat
Trailer overflowing
1960 pounds - in the last week  
2760 for year so far 

Friends & Neighbors 
Marlene, Gardner, Elaine, and Roger
pack and take it away



Thanks everyone.  Remind all your friends!
The hungry are always with us. 







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10 December, 2014

Shine the Light on Hunger Food Drive


Shine the Light on Hunger Food Drive

Sunset Hills Lighted Christmas Ball party 
$580 for Second Harvest Food Bank 
$280 for Greensboro Urban Ministry Food Bank.  
796 pounds of food for Greensboro Urban Ministry. 
Please continue to donate canned foods through January 31st

Photo Credit Daniel Hassell
Additional food drop offs in the Sunset Hills
Rolling Road and Ridgeway 
Rolling Road and East Greenway North
West Greenway South between Berkley and West Market Street
Shine the Light on Hunger Food Drive



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05 December, 2014

Photos from 2014 LCB making party

Bookmark and ShareAt  this year's Lighted Christmas Ball (LCB) making party we had some new faces and some familiar faces. All who attended concentrated on twisting chicken wire and winding lights. Some who attended had read about the LCBs in the News and Record. If you come to see the lights in Sunset Hills, don't forget your food donations.  Many photos are on Shuttefly., You should be able to see them without logging in.