Tribune-Courier News Reporter
The Christmas season has ended in Marshall County, but because of the donations collected at the Mike Miller Park light show the Marshall County Caring Needline will be able to continue serving the community’s less fortunate.
Needline Director Becky Cornwell said without the light show fundraiser Needline wouldn’t be able to function.
“It’s single handedly the largest fundraiser we have,” she said. “Without it we could not function with the huge demand in services and the number of those in need continuously growing.”
Although the final numbers have yet to be determined, Cornwell said this season’s light show at the park provided the Needline $54,447.89 and 42,868 canned goods – an increase of $4,000 and 12,000 canned goods from last year.
“I was worried about what might be donated this year because of the bad weather and the week we lost because of scheduling, but we had an awesome turn out and are so blessed,” she said. “It makes a tremendous difference. It’s all because of the hard work and dedication put into this program by park employees. Without this we’d be in a lot of trouble.”
The Needline serves more than 400 homes per month.
Marshall County Parks Director Larry Whitt said the light show this year was the best he’d seen so far and it was made possible by the employees of the park that spend months setting up decorations and lights.
Now, eight employees are working to take down the lights, which Whitt said will take around a month.
He said the cold weather could have made this year less successful than others, but instead they had some of the busiest nights the light show has ever seen.
“Two of the biggest nights we’ve ever had were following the Calvert City parade and then after Dickens Christmas and the parade in Benton,” he said. “Those two nights really boosted our numbers.”