HELPING OUT: Lantern parade director Jyllie Jackson will send a handful of members from the LightnUp group to do lantern workshops in flood ravaged Bundaberg.
HELPING OUT: Lantern parade director Jyllie Jackson will send a handful of members from the LightnUp group to do lantern workshops in flood ravaged Bundaberg. Jacklyn Wagner

LightnUp flood victims’ spirits

LISMORE Lantern Parade organisers plan to bring light to flood affected families in Bundaberg.

A handful of members from LightnUp, the body that organises the annual Lismore parade, will visit evacuation centres and hold lantern-making workshops in the region next week.

"We've done the workshops in places before where there's been difficulties and it just makes people feel really happy," director Jyllie Jackson said.

The members will teach displaced people how to make small lanterns and combine their efforts to produce one large lantern - a snake.

According to Chinese tradition, 2013 is the year of the snake and Ms Jackson said the large lantern's creation will tie in with Chinese New Year, to be held on Sunday, when LightnUp members arrive in Bundaberg.

"They'll keep the snake and bring it out on special occasions, and hopefully it will create a basis for us to have an ongoing relationship with the community," Ms Jackson said.

LightnUp had gained funding for the trip to Bundaberg through Bundaberg Regional Council several months ago.

However, the trip was jeopardised when floods struck the region last week.

"I wrote to them and said, 'Look, we'd still love to come because I know what a nice thing a lantern parade is and how good it is for people's spirits'," Ms Jackson said.

And, while the council faces a long and expensive clean-up, it decided to follow through with funding LightnUp's trip.

It will not be the first time Ms Jackson and co-members have brought warmth to a downtrodden town.

When floods rolled through Gunnedah in 2010, LightnUp travelled there to make and display lanterns.



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