'A light at the end of the tunnel': Luminarias light up Westport to raise hope and money

WESTPORT — Hoping to illuminate a sense of hope—and charity—two local business partners got the town glowing Wednesday night.

WestportMoms co-founders Melissa Post and Megan Rutstein organized “Light Up Westport,” which sold more than 1,000 luminarias to raise money for the Norwalk-based Filling in the Blanks charity.

“There hasn’t been anything to truly unite the community, so we thought something like this would bring some hope,” Rutstein said. “It’s been such a stressful time for everyone.”

The small dark bags with blue-tinted light could be seen throughout town illuminating the letters “W-S-P-T,” designed and organized in cooperation with Purpose 2 Purchase.

The bag kits were purchased for $10 each, with larger quantities at discount, with all proceeds benefited the charity, which focuses on childhood hunger. People were encouraged to share them as gifts and could forward with notes.

“There are a lot of people that are hurting and it’s important to help,” said Julie Broder, a local real estate agent who got some luminaries to place at one of her house listings.

Even the Westport Fire Headquarters was aglow Wednesday night, with close to 30 bags on display there along the Post Road.

“It’s just a sign of hope,” Rutstein said, “and a sign of the light at the end of the tunnel.”