BARBOURSVILLE - As the Booth family pushed their paper lanterns out onto Barboursville Lake, they were lighting up for family.

"It's my wife's birthday, so we are celebrating her," said Andrew Booth, of Charleston.

The family joined others at the lake Saturday for Light Up the Lake, the first paper lantern festival in Barboursville.

Kristi Booth said they had participated in a sky lantern festival before and found it very moving, so they were excited for the water lantern festival to try and capture the same experience.

Event organizer Sabrina Donahue-Moore said she hopes everyone has a moment as they launched their lanterns, whether it was in memory of someone, celebrating someone or whatever lights them up.

Ten nonprofits, such as the Alzheimer's Association of West Virginia and Lily's Place, joined together for the event, with all proceeds benefiting the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, or CJD, Foundation.

CJD is a rapidly progressing brain disease, which took the life of Donahue-Moore's brother just six months after his diagnosis. He was in his early 40s.

"My brother wouldn't have loved that this was all for him, but what he would have loved is that everyone felt supported," she said.

Following her brother's death, the disease is now reportable in West Virginia, which makes more research possible.

She said the goal is to find a way to slow the progression of the disease, which attacks the brain and is hard to diagnose.

Donahue-Moore plans to make Light Up the Lake an annual event.

All the lanterns were removed from the lake after the festival.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.


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