Kiwanis Holiday Lights Announces 2016 Statistics

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IMG_3047 (2)IMG_3047 (2)The Kiwanis Holiday Lights Board of Directors is pleased to announce $60,000 will again be donated to the 84 non-profit organizations that assisted with the event this past year.  “Although attendance and donations were down this year due to several rainy nights as well as some bitterly cold weather, we’re able to again donate $60,000 to the nonprofits that helped us this year,” said Scott Wojcik, Kiwanis Holiday Lights president.  “We’ve really worked hard to manage our finances in order to plan for years when traffic is down due to weather.  That’s helped us make sure we can still give back a substantial amount to the groups that help us out,” he said.

New additions were a rotating merry-go-round display, a hot air balloon featuring a life flame, additional songs in the “dancing lights” area and a three-night live ice sculpting event that culminated with the creation of a lighted sculpture of “The Sibley Park Ice Dragon.” As has been typical of the growth of the event each year, even more lighted trees were added to the event.

The event was completely volunteer-driven and lasted 37 nights, or a total of 165+ hours of operation.

Additional statistics include:

  • Over 165,000 people attended the free event in 2016. (Mild weather helped account for 180,000 visitors in 2015).
  • $60,000 will be donated back to the non-profit groups that assisted with set-up, tear-down and evening volunteer help during the event. ($60,000 in 2015, $50,000 in 2014, $40,000 in 2013 and $30,000 in 2012).  Remaining proceeds will go to help offset expenses and to improve the event in future years.
  • 84 non-profit groups participated, providing 12,089 volunteer hours with 1,735 volunteers participating. Funds will be dispersed to the non-profit participants based on a formula that includes volunteer assistance with set-up, tear-down and nightly operations.  Participating non-profit groups also received a tree that they could decorate along the walking path.
  • For the third year, visitors were encouraged to vote on their favorite non-profit tree this year. Winners were;
    • 1st place – Open Door Health Center received a $300 prize
    • 2nd Place – BENCHS received a $150 prize
    • 3rd Place – One Bright Star received a $50 prize
  • Over 4,500 children visited Santa and each received a free book courtesy of Capstone
  • 51 Greater Mankato businesses participated as cash sponsors, showing continued support for the annual event
  • An additional 35 businesses participated as in-kind sponsors
  • 5 tons of food was collected by 20 area food shelves
  • The opening night parade was presented by the Mankato Area Derby Girls. The winner of the $500 float contest was Anthony Ford Fund.
  • Over 1.35 million energy-efficient LED lights glowed brightly throughout the event, with the electricity costing less than $50 a night!
  • Thirty-one area restaurants donated food to help feed the volunteers during the event, as well as during set-up and tear-down
  • Four live reindeer were again on display for the duration of the event.
  • The opening parade and lighting ceremony for the 2017 Kiwanis Holiday Lights season will be November 24, 2017.

5-YEAR TOTALS FOR KIWANIS HOLIDAY LIGHTS

70.5 tons of food has been collected for area food shelves

$240,000 has been donated to the non-profits who have provided volunteers

Over 600,000 people have visited the event to date

Record attendance and donations result in largest donation to nonprofit organizations to date by Kiwanis Holiday Lights

The Kiwanis Holiday Lights Board of Directors is pleased to announce $60,000 will be donated to the non-profit organizations that assisted with the event in 2015. Mild weather and attendance figures topping 180,000 people contributed to increased donations from visitors during the event’s fourth-annual season.

Kiwanis Holiday Lights is an annual event presented by the Mankato Area Foundation and CHS and is held in Sibley Park in Mankato, MN. New additions were an Old Man Winter animated display, a much taller center tree, an expanded “dancing lights” area and a three-night live ice sculpting event presented by CHS that culminated with the creation of a lighted sculpture of Old Man Winter. Even more lighted trees and additional displays were also new to the event.

  • The event was completely volunteer-driven and lasted 35 nights, or a total of 150+ hours of operation. Additional statistics include:
    Over 180,000 people attended the free event in 2015 (165,000 in 2014), which included greatly increased walking traffic due to the extremely mild temperatures.
  • $60,000 will be donated back to the non-profit groups that assisted with set-up, tear-down and evening volunteer help during the event. ($50,000 in 2014, $40,000 in 2013 and $30,000 in 2012). Remaining proceeds will go to help offset expenses and to improve the event in future years.
  • 94 non-profit groups participated, providing 10,700 volunteer hours with 1,850 volunteers participating. Funds will be dispersed to the non-profit participants based on a formula that includes volunteer assistance with set-up, tear-down and nightly operations. Participating nonprofit groups also received a tree that they could decorate along the walking path.
  • For the second year visitors were encouraged to vote on their favorite non-profit tree this year. Winners were;
    • 1st place – North Mankato Fireman’s Relief Association received a $300 prize
    • 2nd Place – LEEP received a $150 prize
    • 3rd Place –One Bright Star received a $50 prize
  • Over 4,000 children visited Santa and each received a free book courtesy of Capstone
  • 56 Greater Mankato businesses participated as cash sponsors, showing continued support for the annual event
  • An additional 33 businesses participated as in-kind sponsors
  • 14 tons of food was collected by 15 area food shelves
  • The opening night parade was presented by the Mankato Area Derby Girls. The winner of the $500 float contest was Girl Scout Troop 34494.
  • Over 1.25 million energy-efficient LED lights glowed brightly throughout the event, with the electricity costing less than $50 a night!
  • Thirty six area restaurants donated food to help feed the volunteers during the event, as well as during set-up and tear-down
  • Four live reindeer were on display for the duration of the event.
  • The opening parade and lighting ceremony for the 2016 Kiwanis Holiday Lights season will be November 25, 2016.
  • Non-profit organizations that provided the required number of volunteer hours will be invited to participate again in 2016. There is a waiting list for additional non-profits. Interested participants should send an email to volunteer@kiwanisholidaylights.com to be considered for future years.

Kiwanis Holiday Lights Donates $50,000 to 82 Nonprofit Organizations

The Kiwanis Holiday Lights Board of Directors is pleased to announce final numbers for the 2014 (third) season of Kiwanis Holiday Lights, which was again presented by the Mankato Area Foundation and CHS. New additions were a non-profit tree decorating contest, an expanded “dancing lights” area, a large lighted nativity display, an animated display showing elves throwing a snowball and a lighted Santa’s sleigh and reindeer that was suspended over the driving path. Additional lighted trees and many more decorated non-profit trees were also new to the event this season.

The event was completely volunteer-driven and lasted 34 nights, or a total of 145+ hours of operation. Additional statistics include:

  • $50,000 will be donated back to the 82 non-profits that assisted with setup, tear-down and evening volunteer help during the event. ($40,000 in 2013). Remaining proceeds will go to help offset expenses and improve the 2015 event.
  • 82 non-profit groups participated, providing 9,000 volunteer hours, with 1,592 volunteers participating (of that, 290 volunteers were student athletes from MSU, Bethany and Gustavus). Funds will be dispersed to the non-profit participants based on a formula that includes volunteer assistance with setup, tear-down and nightly operations. Participating non-profit groups also received a tree that they could decorate along the walking path.
  • For the first time, visitors were encouraged to vote on their favorite nonprofit tree this year. Winners were;
    • 1st place – Mankato Ballet $300 prize
    • 2nd Place – MRCI $ 150 prize
    • 3rd Place – Mankato Area Derby Girls $50
  • 61 Greater Mankato businesses participated as cash sponsors, showing continued support for the annual event
  • An additional 33 businesses participated as in-kind sponsors • Over 165,000 people attended the free event in 2014, which included greatly increased walking traffic due to the mild temperatures.
  • 14.1 tons of food was collected by 15 area food shelves
  • The opening night parade was presented for the third consecutive year by the Greater Mankato Young Professionals. The winner of the $500 float contest was the Twin Valley Council Cub Scouts Pack #76.
  • Over one million energy-efficient LED lights glowed brightly throughout the event, with the electricity costing less than $50 a night!
  • Thirty one area restaurants donated food to help feed the volunteers during the event, as well as during set-up and tear-down
  • A volunteer Santa took requests in his workshop from little ones FridaySunday nights, totaling over 4,000 individual visits with children
  • Four live reindeer were again on display from Thanksgiving until Dec. 24.
  • The opening parade and lighting ceremony for the 2015 Kiwanis Holiday Lights season will be November 27, 2015.
  • Non-profit organizations that provided the required number of volunteer hours will be invited to participate again in 2015. There is a waiting list for additional non-profits. Interested participants should send an email to volunteer@kiwanisholidaylights.com to be considered for future years.