About Candle Lighters

012_9 PhotoBoothWho We Are

Candle Lighters is a non-profit organization of nearly 100 volunteers dedicated to raising funds for non-profit groups and community-based projects in the Tri-City Community. (Fremont, Newark & Union City). We consider ourselves a service and a social organization.

Our Board of Directors

President Maria Garnica
1st Vice President/Site Lani Cortez &
Assistant Site Margarita Saucedo
2nd Vice President/Publicity Jeff Schinkel
3rd Vice President/Sponsors Gloria Gutierrez
Recording Secretary Deanna Loder
Corresponding Secretary Tere Salinas
Treasurer Tammy Titus &
Assistant Treasurer Kim Morua
Communications Patty Grant
Membership Linda Pricer
Social Kim Twist, Pat Keller, Melissa Palleschi
Parliamentarian Sharon Candelario


Founded in 1969, Candle Lighters began as a fundraising source for the local YMCA Building Fund. Over the years, the organization has evolved to its present day status while keeping its focus on the local community.

What We Do

Candle Lighters raises donatable dollars solely through our annual Ghost House. Open during the last two weeks of October and based in a historical 19th century Carriage House, the Ghost House is an evolving family-oriented event.

Using a different theme each year, Candle Lighter members, families, sponsors and friends transform the site into an arena of goblins, ghosts, witches & warlocks, providing fun for the community.

How We Do It

We’re a working organization! Each executive member pledges a minimum of 50 hours of on-site help per year, constructing, costuming and carrying out the magic of this ongoing extravaganza.

And There is More!

In addition to the Ghost House itself, a midway of games, caramel apples, a country store and delightful food treats is created, again geared to entertainment for the entire family. Then, when it’s all over, it’s torn down, packed up and stored, while preparations are made for the next exciting year.