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Peace Light shines in area

Lighting candles as part of the International Peace Light ceremony Saturday are, left to right, Ariana Carney, Jaelynn Lutton, and Carter Olmi. The trio is from pack 9002 of Poland.

CANFIELD — A group of about 20 local Boy Scouts were on hand Saturday afternoon to take part in the International Peace Lighting at Camp Stambaugh.

Arriving at noon, the Scouts had candles to take part in the lighting ceremony, which was coordinated by Mike Kupec of the Great Trail Council of Boy Scouts of America.

“It’s part of a message of peace we are trying to spread around the world with worldwide Scouting,” Kupec, local Peace Light coordinator, said.

Earlier on Saturday, Kupec picked the light up in Stow, where it was dropped off by a volunteer who picked it up from JFK International Airport in New York City. Prior to that, the flame was in Austria.

While the light has been coming through the United States since 2000, the light has made a stop in the Valley since 2011, when Kupec got the area included on the journey.

The flame is lit from the Grotto of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, then flown to Austria in two blastproof miner’s lamps.

From there, the light is taken on a journey acround Europe, then coming to the United States.

Kupec said he hopes Scouts gain a sense of peace and love toward others, regardless of faith and background.

Through a Facebook page, Peace Light-North America, people from around the country have shown interest in getting the light from the East Coast out West.

“Eventually, it will get out to California,” Kupec said.

A map allows page followers to track requests — and the flames’ route — and many volunteer their time and resources to make it happen.

The Peace Light will be available to the public noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 21 at Camp Stambaugh Scout Shop, 3712 Leffingwell Road, Canfield.

On Thursday, the Peace Light will be taken to the JMJ Spiritual Connection store, 3408 Canfield Road, Youngstown, by the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from St. Christine Church at 5:30 p.m., where it will be hosted to receive the public through Christmas Eve during normal business hours.

Anyone interested in visiting to light a candle should use a windproof container or lamp.