BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College is hosting its ninth annual Light Up Night and Charity Christmas Auction to benefit Bernie’s Kids.

The event, set for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in Commencement Hall, features an official tree lighting and a live auction of themed trees, wreaths, and baskets.

All proceeds from the community event go to Bernie’s Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides gifts to needy children in the area. The organization is named in honor of Bernie Kazienko, a former Brooke County sheriff and commissioner who died of cancer in 2011.

In preparation for the Light Up Night auction, Bethany is asking groups and individuals to consider donating a decorated artificial tree, wreath or basket for auction. Each item should follow a theme chosen by the decorator and should be delivered to campus by Dec. 2, said Jerry Stebbins, vice president for student life and dean of students.

Previous themes have included movies, Harry Potter, pets (featuring pet toys, treats, and gift cards), and comfy cozy (featuring hot chocolate, coffee, gloves, and socks).

“It’s really as creative as someone wants to be,” Stebbins said.

Email Stebbins at [obfuscate_btn][/obfuscate_btn] to reserve a space or for more information about decorating an item.

Last year’s Light Up Night auctioned 35 items and raised more than $3,000 for Bernie’s Kids.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.