The bright lights in Lemon Park from Thanksgiving to New Years Day could be much dimmer this year without some new volunteers.
Starting in September, every light on every display in Lemon Parks Lights is turned on and burned out bulbs are replaced. Repairs are made to displays in anticipation of turning on the lights on the weekend before Thanksgiving.
For years, people serving community service were assigned to the task of getting the displays ready for the annual event in the park. Peggy Lee was in charge of organizing community service and letting people know when and where they needed to be.
But Lee has resigned and no one has taken over the helm so the source of workers is gone and Lemon Park Lights is facing a dim future, said organizer Deb Goyen.
Mostly young people were assigned to working on the lights and they did good work. Many of them came back to help out each year even after they had completed their community service.
They seemed to take pride in what they had accomplished. And it was Lee that held the program together.
It takes three months of volunteer work to get the lights ready. That includes plugging in every display, counting the burned out bulbs, getting replacement bulbs and putting them in, repairing electrical wiring and any problems with the displays.
But the problem doesn't stop there. When the displays are taken down in January, the community service volunteers help put the displays back in their proper place in the storage shed, they coil the dozens of electrical cords and put them back in the proper order. Without the community service people, putting the displays away will be much less organized and take much longer to accomplish.
Goyen works full time and doesn't have the time to get all the work done by herself. She admits that she can put bulbs in a socket but when it comes to repairing those sockets she is clueless.
She has a helper, Ron Miller, who repairs damage to the displays and can lead crews in getting the lights ready on the displays but now he has no crew, Goyen said.
Goyen need help and she needs it now. Without people to get the lights ready early, her option is to wait until the lights are set up then have the crews find out how many lights are out and she would have to go get more lights and replace them then.
However, she anticipates bulbs will be missed and the displays will not be as bright as they have been in the past.
The community service issue is being reviewed but Goyen needs help now. Groups, organizations or individuals are needed to help get the lights ready and it needs to happen now in order to get everything done in time for the lights to go on in November.
Time is of the essence here.
Volunteers of individuals, groups, service organizations and especially electricians are needed and needed now to help keep Lemon Park Lights bright and drawing people to Pratt.
Volunteers can contact Goyen at the Peoples Bank at 672-5611.