Making Spirits Bright, an annual holiday light show sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Sheboygan County, experienced an outstanding event for its third year, according to Gerry Plehn, chairperson of the event.
“We are so very grateful to the community for its extremely generous support of our third year,” says Plehn. “We gathered more than 35 tons of food items that are being distributed to the 10 food pantries which make up the Sheboygan County Food Bank. The weather played a significant part in the popularity of the event, as we were blessed with mild weather for every night of the 29 evenings we were open.”
Plehn estimates over 20,600 vehicles visited Evergreen Park during the event, which, due to support of our premier Treetop-level sponsors, Festival Foods and Dave and Sandy Sachse, along with numerous other area companies and individuals, was able to make significant improvements to the displays throughout the park. “From the comments our volunteers heard, we know we had quite a few vehicles visit more than once so they could see the displays which changed over the course of the show, thanks to our music technician who added new songs,” says Plehn.
The 35 tons of food and pantry items have been distributed among the 10 pantries located in Sheboygan, Plymouth, Sheboygan Falls and Random Lake. The total amount was accomplished with the help of many area companies, churches and organizations which held their own food drives among employees to add to the individual donations brought to the park. Festival Foods and Woodlake Market also prepared pre-filled grocery bags for purchase at their stores prior to the event.
“This amount of food and other items will help us supply families in need for approximately 4 to 5 months,” says Lizabeth Kroll, Sheboygan County Food Bank director. “Despite the economic upturn, there is still a definite increase in need for items, so this quantity is very helpful.”
“This event happens only because we have so many wonderful volunteers and sponsors who give so much,” adds Plehn. “Thanks to them, and the visitors who donated money for displays, we are looking forward to next year, and already have ideas on how to make it bigger and better.”