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“Lights on Rosewood” officially opens for final year, honors two children with cancer

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BRISTOL -- It's a bittersweet official opening for "Lights on Rosewood" in Bristol this year.

The event is honoring not one but two children in Bristol with cancer. But sadly, it's the last year it will be held.

Since it's the last year, the family behind the display said they are going big for the light show that will honor two brave warriors who captured their hearts.

A few months ago, they heard of a 6-year-old boy, Silas Abeling of Bristol, who loves art and superheroes. Silas was diagnosed this past April with T-Cell Leukemia, and he's currently undergoing intensive chemotherapy to treat his cancer from relapsing until 2020.

Silas was too sick to attend the event but his aunt went to record him a video of the display.

“I think it helps recognize the kids and make them feel a lot better,” Erica Thrall said. “He is a 6-year-old, amazing little boy with just the best personality ever, that keeps us all smiling.”

Then, they also found 4-year-old Liam Vavrek of Bristol. He has a list of superheroes he also admires, like the Hulk, Ironman, and Batman. Liam was diagnosed in late September with State 4 kidney cancer. He is facing 25 weeks of chemo and radiation in addition to an operation to remove the tumor from one of his kidneys.

The family behind the "Lights on Rosewood" is the Osenkowski family.

“Everybody just getting together for a good time for a good cause. We’ve done a lot I mean just for a little residential house we raised I think it was 10-thousand dollars last year just alone. We don’t want it to be the last year but its traffic, traffic is just too much for this little road. We’ll still have lights, don’t get me wrong but it won’t be like this, we’re definitely gonna miss it.”

The display continues next door at Craig Smith’s house who also collects for a good cause, The Connecticut Humane Society.

“Last year we had 1500 pounds of dry food delivered, 500 cans and then a trailer full of supplies,” Smith said.

“We’ve built so many good things for the humane society and families of children who are sick and it’s because of everybody who comes here,” Smith said. “We just set stuff up.”

Monetary and gift card donations will be collected from Opening Night until Christmas Night, along with canned food donations for Zion Church, Meals For the Needy. 100% of proceeds will be equally split among Silas and Liam.

The display can be seen at the home from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., until Christmas. All you have to do is tune into 98.3 FM from your car. You can also stand closely to the house, the music will be playing quietly.

This is the fifth year of the lights display.