The third annual Starlit Night is planned for early December, with nominations of families being accepted in early November.

The Independent has sponsored and helped organize the event, now in its third year. The idea behind it is to take people or families facing difficult circumstances beyond their control—and throwing them a big party for Christmas.

Organizer Shelley Seale says the event is not necessarily about alleviating poverty, although it frequently works out that way through the nominating process.

Seale and others gather donations, and once nominated families have been chosen, go on a shopping trip tailored to the needs and wants of that family. Meanwhile, committees decorate dozens of trees and the Moriarty Civic Center into a winter wonderland, and prepare a meal, shared freely with the community. Live music and a visit from Santa round out the event.

This year’s Starlit Night will be Dec. 4 at the Moriarty Civic Center.

Donations will be funneled through The Independent, with 100 percent of those funds supporting the event. To make a financial donation, mail it to The Independent, P.O. Box 1056, Edgewood, NM 87015. Be sure to note “Starlit Night” in the memo line. Donations will be accepted by telephone as well by calling 505-286-1212.

To nominate a person or a family, visit, or call 505-286-1212 or 505-480-3688, or email

Nominations may be in the form of a letter, email or video, with a deadline of Nov. 16.