“We are really looking forward to this year‘s event,” said Matt Wagner, who is chairman. “We’ve had an over-whelming response from past participants as well as some new ones,” he said. “ We have close to 30 different displays- and people are really getting excited.”
Wagner stressed that this year’s schedule is different from year’s past. “We will be open three different week-ends in December; the 4th and 5th; 10th through the 12th and the 17th through the 19th.” He said this will give more people a chance to view the lights and displays.” (We will not be open during the week)
He explained that the displays are created by area businesses, service clubs, schools and non-profit organizations. Wagner said that attendees are given an opportunity to vote for their favorite display with prize money awarded to the top three vote getters. Businesses that win are asked to designate their winnings to a local charity or non-profit.
Wagner said that all net proceeds of this years “Lights” will be used toward the ‘Backpack Buddies’ program. “With more than 100 students participating, this program is designed to supplement school breakfast and lunch programs by providing elementary age children with nutrient rich foods over the weekend, when many of these children may have little or nothing to eat,” he said. He said a typical bag includes nutritious food items such as peanut butter, crackers, fruit cups, seeds and nuts; small boxes of cereal, juice boxes and shelf stable milk cartons. “The Backpack Buddies program is an excellent program,” said Wagner. “We know that many of these children rely- and depend- on this food to help them- and sometimes their siblings through the weekend.”
Wagner had high praises for Matt Cosgrove and his staff at Webster County Conservation. “Without their help, an event like this wouldn’t be possible,” he said.
Some of the businesses will be displaying their ‘lighting’ expertise’ include; Daybreak Rotary, Champion Auto, Decker Sporting Goods, Rabiner Treatment Center, Jim’s Carpet One, Abate of Iowa, District 10, Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Mercury Toyota, Allers, Ass., Shimkat Motor, and Nestle Purina.
“This is a great opportunity to enjoy the creativity of area organizations and utilize the wonderful asset that Kennedy park is to our community. At the same time you’ll be giving back to the community,” said Wagner.