Help needed to keep the lights on
Help. That is what organizers of the Alexandria Festival of Lights need in order to avoid pulling the plug on one of the region’s most popular events.
Citing health issues and other commitments, the festival board of directors has issued an appeal for new volunteers.
Contact chairman Ron Aubin at 613-5253151 or october 25,@bellnet.ca if you want to lend a helping hand.
The few volunteers who have helped stage the Yuletide light show in Island Park for the past 11 years are getting burned out.
“It is nice to volunteer but we also have jobs and businesses,” notes Mr. Aubin, who stresses that now is the time preparations for the displays should begin. “In past years, we have usually been getting ready at this time of year. We need at least six or seven people to come forward so we can start work between now and the end of November,” adds the businessman who has chaired the committee for the past three years.
Tasks included checking and replacing the estimated 250,000 lights that illuminate the Christmas-themed displays that are open to the public from late November to December 31.
Poor health has prevented Mr. Aubin from continuing to be actively involved in the organization of the activity. “I don’t mind staying on and giving guidance to the new people but I can’t do as much work outside as I once did,” he says.
Mr. Aubin relates that he and Alain Bélanger are the only committee members returning this year. In 2016, the committee was comprised of 11 members.
The festival receives financial support from businesses and organizations, such as the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, which has been a major sponsor.
North Glengarry Township provides money as well as staff who help with the setup and tear-down of the event, and the use of equipment and facilities.
Yet, since the first festival in 2006, most of the grunt work has been carried out by citizens.
About 30 displays sponsored by businesses, schools and groups, were featured in the 2016 edition of the “winter wonderland.”
Festival organizers may be forced to pull plug on ‘wonderland’