Put a little twinkle in your neighborhood

Rotary Club introduces Christmas light contest

THE WILMINGTON ROTARY Club is hosting a holiday lighting contest and tour, a fundraiser that will help the group continue its work in the community.

Pam Monson

Riding around town looking at Christmas lights used to be as much a family holiday activity as visiting Santa Clause at the mall, and one local organization wants to bring that cheerful tradition back. The Wilmington Rotary Club this year will host it’s first annual holiday lighting contest and holiday lights tour, “Light the Way Wilmington.” “We’re trying to insert a little holiday cheer, to brighten the town, and we were looking for a way to get people involved,” said Rotary Club treasurer and contest organizer Maria Meachum. The contest is for residents and businesses. Each holiday lights display will be entered in six fun categories: • Most whimsical • Most traditional • The Clark Griswold award • Best in business • People’s choice • Rotarian’s choice The winning entry in each category will receive $100 in Wilmington Chamber of Commerce gift certificates. Applications are available through the Wilmington Public Library District website, www.wilmingtonlibrary.org/lighttheway, at the library, at 201 S. Kankakee St., or at the Wilmington Island Park District facility at 315 N. Water St. Applications can be submitted beginning Friday, Nov. 15, by mail to Wilmington Rotary Club, P.O. Box 701, Wilmington; or they can be dropped off at the library. Entries must be received by Saturday, Dec. 14. The entry fee is $10 for residences and $20 for businesses. The Rotary will map the locations of the entries, so that families can ride around and view the amazing displays, and also vote for their favorites. (Contestants are encouraged to get friends and family to vote for them.) Public voting will take place between Monday, Dec. 9 and Friday, Dec. 20. The winners will be announced Saturday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m. The contest is a fundraiser, and will replace the dinner theater event that was held in partnership with the now disbanded community theater group’s performances. Funds raised will be used for local Rotary Club projects, including developing an inclusive playground and helping Kuzma Care Cottage, the Christian Help Association and Our Caring Closet support the community’s less fortunate families. “We’re always raising funds to keep giving,” Meachum said. Contest sponsors include Oak Knoll Financial Services, The Wine Cafe, Pro Real Estate and Batory Foods.