The NOTL Chamber of Commerce, organizer of the Candlelight Stroll, has named Virgil teenager Devon Botbyl as this year's recipient of money raised from candle sales.
Devon was born with a rare chromosome condition that leaves him with global delays and autistic tendencies.
During the COVID pandemic he has been suffering from the isolation as many of his service programs had been cancelled and he recently was in hospital for cancer treatment.
Devon will continue his treatments as an outpatient for now and has a great support system with parents Dani and Scott, and younger sister Elise.
Candles, at one for $3 and two for $5, will be available at a number of locations the night of the Dec. 3 stroll.
“The return of the Candlelight Stroll is a positive symbol of who we are in Niagara-on-the-Lake,” said Lord Mayor Betty Disero.
“While we celebrate during this special season, our purchase of candles will help Devon Botbyl through a very difficult time. I am so proud of the chamber for organizing this lovely event again this year.”
The chamber also will be donating $1,000 to the Farmworker Hub to help it raise $15,000 to cover operating costs.
The hub, located in Virgil at Cornerstone Church, provides free clothing, household items and food to the fantastic Farmworkers.
Another part of the tradition of the Candlelight Stroll is the food drive for Newark Neighbours.
Attendees can bring their donations the night of the stroll and drop them off at any of the candle stalls for collection.
Newark Neighbours provides Christmas hampers for over 50 families over the holidays and needs stuffing mix cranberry sauce, canned vegetables and gravy – all the ingredients to help make a beautiful holiday dinner.
The stroll begins outside the Court House on Queen Street at 6:45 p.m. and winds its way through the Heritage District. It will be led by horse-drawn carriages from Sentineal Carriages. Masks are required for everyone attending the event.
“We are thrilled to get the green light from the government to give our community their beloved Candlelight Stroll back this year,” said chamber president Eduardo Lafforgue.
“After hosting last year’s event as a virtual event, we are happy to provide a piece of normality again with our regular stroll as we celebrate the holiday season together.”
There is plenty of parking available at Fort George. A complimentary shuttle will run to the Court House from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Otherwise, organizers note, it is a six-minute walk to the start of the stroll.
can be purchased at the visitors centre found in the centre of the parking lot. Food donations for Newark Neighbours can also be taken there.
If there are any choirs, bands or other musical groups that would like to be part of the stroll they can contact Nicole Cripps at the Chamber of Commerce 905-468-1950. Nicole says, “we have many choirs and groups that have been performing at the Stroll for many years but it always nice to add new groups who would like to be part of the holiday tradition.”
We are looking forward to seeing everyone on December 3rd and kicking off the Holiday season with this well-loved tradition. More information can be found at https://www.niagaraonthelake.com/candlelight-stroll