The Outdoor Lights, an award-winning lighting design and installation firm headquartered in Forsyth County, is doing their part in the hopes of one day fueling hope for children and adults suffering from Mitochondrial disease. The company created a custom, one-of-a-kind ‘firefly’ lantern to raise awareness and funds for The Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, (foundmm.org), an organization dedicated to funding research for mitochondrial disease.
Mitochondria are tiny parts of cells in the human body that create energy. When they work correctly, they are power plants for the body. When they don’t, a person’s body experiences a ‘power’ failure. Mitochondrial disease is a ‘cell-production’ problem and often manifests itself in the form of many familiar diseases, including: Autism, Alzheimers, Muscular Dystrophy, Lou Gehrigs (ALS), Parkinson’s disease and many others.
Chris Wakefield, President and CEO of The Outdoor Lights, Inc. (theoutdoorlights.com) was commissioned by the Foundation to create a custom copper ‘Firefly’ lantern for Hope Flies 2011, an annual fundraising gala for Mitochondrial Medicine held on Saturday, November 5, 2011 in Atlanta, GA. A frequent collaborator with award-winning architects and interior designers, Wakefield said that his firm is excited to be involved with such an important organization and fundraising initiative.
“Being an active and contributing part of our community is a huge part of who we are at The Outdoor Lights,” said Wakefield. “We are thrilled and honored to have been asked to work closely with the Foundation of Mitochondrial Medicine to create a product that we hope will raise awareness and funds and help lead to a cure for this disease.”
According to foundation organizers, the “Firefly” image has a very special meaning in mitochondrial research. Researchers have found a way to actually see the mitochondria in action, which involves “luciferase,” the enzyme in the back of a firefly that makes it light up. Scientists discovered they can inject this chemical into a living cell, thus making the cell sort of 'glow', then introduce another chemical to observe how the mitochondria react.
Wakefield said that by creating this custom outdoor firefly lantern, his hope was to create a keepsake and reminder for families and patients to continue to shine a “light of hope” on this disease and fight for research. When lit, an image of the Hope Flies firefly pattern comes alive on the ground in the form of a beautiful, ethereal pattern, creating a magical effect. Retailing for $375, the custom firefly lanterns designed by The Outdoor Lights, Inc., are available for purchase at theoutdoorlights.com or hopeflies.org. Ten percent of all retail purchases for this lantern will go directly back to the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine.
In addition to the ‘Firefly’ lanterns, The Outdoor Lights offers a wide range of products, including outdoor up and down lights, wash lights, dock and deck lights, bench lights, path lights and fixtures that imitate natural moon light. The company can also provide a number of custom lighting options such as brass or copper fixtures, hand-blown glass pieces, stained glass options and “moon globes,” which are spheres with flat bottoms that illuminate the ground surrounding them, Wakefield added.
For more information on the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, please visit foundmm.org/.
About The Outdoor Lights
Located at 3335–A Hutchinson Road in Cumming, GA, The Outdoor Lights, Inc. is an award-winning lighting design firm that installs and manages commercial and residential projects around the world and signature projects throughout the Southeast. The company combines a talented lighting design team with technical experts who creatively and strategically craft projects that ensure the lighting design outcome illuminates each property like a work of art. For more information, visit TheOutdoorLights.com, or contact the company at marketing[.]theoutdoorlights.com or call 770-844-1760.