After a successful fundraising campaign, the village of Delhi will a have a menorah on the Courthouse Square beginning Sunday, the first night of Hanukkah.

Delhi resident Lauren O'Leary said she asked the Delhi Beautification Committee this year if they could buy a menorah for the square but was told the committee had spent all of the money on other decorations for the village. She decided to raise the $640 needed to buy the 9-foot tall menorah for the village square and was surprised by the outpouring of support she received.

She said some members of the committee donated money and she received donations from people living in New York City, Chicago and from as far away as Germany. O'Leary, who is Jewish, said she moved to Delhi five years ago from Chicago with her family.

"Every year we'd go to the tree lighting ceremony and our kids would ask where the menorah was," she said. "People think there are not a lot of Jewish people living in the area, but there are." She said there are many inner-married families living in the area and she meets other Jewish families at different events around the county.

O'Leary invites the whole community to a menorah lighting ceremony Sunday, Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. on the Courthouse Square on Main Street in Delhi. Members of the Women for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity will co-sponsor the event. 

Following the ceremony, there will be a Hanukkah party at This & That at 110 Main Street. The party will feature sufganiyot, which are jelly donuts, hot chocolate, dreidel games and crafts.

"It's very cool that Matt Marchese, who's not Jewish, is hosting the party," O'Leary said.

Marchese, who opened This & That in June 2020, has hosted other community events. He said O'Leary is a regular at his store and when she brought up the menorah lighting, he thought about having a party after.

"Who doesn't like donuts and presents?" Marchese asked. "All are welcome. I'm excited to eat donuts and hang out. I want cool stuff to happen in Delhi."

In addition to the menorah lighting on Sunday, W.I.D.E. will host a holiday traditions table following the holiday parade Dec. 3. O'Leary said people can to come to the table and share their cultural holiday traditions and learn about other people's cultural holiday traditions.

"We are hoping this will become a new tradition in Delhi," she said.

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at vklukkert@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_VickyK on Twitter.

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