Christina (Tina) Burland, a junior at Amity Regional High School, created an event that was held on Saturday, March, 13th at 6:00 pm at the Woodbridge Town Green where she and her supporters spelled out the words “Woodbridge Together” with hundreds of luminaria to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. The ceremony was livestreamed on Facebook so Woodbridge residents could participate from their homes and still feel the sense of community and a coming together which was Tina’s goal for this event.
Tina also created a fundraiser to benefit the Woodbridge Rotary Club COVID Relief Fund. She raised $3,000 by selling luminaria for residents to light outside their homes and businesses as a visual representation of community. In the attached photo is Tina presenting the check to Anna Dickerson, President of the Woodbridge Rotary Club.
As Tina says, “The purpose of the luminaria project is to show community…show that we’re all going through the same thing and we’re in this together and we will get through this together…Today we can turn this one-year anniversary into something hopeful. We can change the meaning of what this year has meant and turn it into something inspiring.”
Tina, with the help of her volunteers, not only set up luminaria at the Town Green, they also set up luminaria around the town to represent the coming together of the community and hope for the future. In attendance at the event were First Selectwoman Beth Heller, Chief of Police Frank Cappiello, Woodbridge Rotary Club President Anna Dickerson, Amity Regional High School Principal Anna Mahon and approximately 20 supporters and volunteers.
Selectwoman Heller said, “Seeing the luminarias lit is a beautiful sight and the symbolism of having so many residents participate, albeit from afar, in this one large display is awe-inspiring. It really does bring us together. This evening we’ve begun to spread light, spread harmony and heal our world. We will get through this together.”
This event is the second project that Tina created with her initiative called “Woodbridge Together” through which she fosters community togetherness. Tina’s first project enlisted the help of the community to make 112 holiday cards for the seniors in Woodbridge who were not able to see their families due to the pandemic.
You can see a recording of the luminaria event on the Woodbridge Together Facebook page below along with the links provided for her Instagram and website: