Light Foundation hosts annual Winter Wonderland


GREENVILLE — The Light Foundation is ready to spread Christmas cheer. The Darke County-based nonprofit is preparing for its fourth annual Winter Wonderland at Chenoweth Trails, which will take place from Dec. 8-10. Their staff is preparing an amazing custom light display at its facility in Greenville, creating a weekend filled with fun for all. The weekend-long event is $5 for adults and $2 for youth. All profits will go towards helping the Foundation continue its mission of taking young people out of their everyday environments and providing them with unique opportunities that ignite their passion, purpose, and motivation to succeed. There will also be hotdogs, s’mores, cookies, and hot cocoa for purchase!

The nonprofit, founded by former NFL Super Bowl champion Matt Light and his wife Susie, hosted the event for the first-time in 2020 after being gifted nearly 200 six-foot pre-lit artificial trees from Lowe’s Home Improvement for a holiday-themed corporate initiative. Since then, the Foundation has turned the gift into a very well-attended annual event where the faces of kids light up, old friends mingle, and all partake in a lot of holiday fun.

“Winter Wonderland at Chenoweth Trails continues to grow in excitement each year. As a Foundation, we strive to bring joy and hope to everyone, especially those struggling or looking for an outlet for help, so we created this opportunity for the community to come witness our facility lit up and ready to spread Christmas cheer,” says Matt Light.

Guests will enjoy a memorable outdoor walk through sparkling holiday lights, a life-size nativity scene, a craft, waving to Santa in his toy shop, and some refreshments over a warm dancing fire! There is also an opportunity to bring a letter for Santa to drop in his special North Pole express mailbox!

“Our sponsors help make this event bigger and better each year while also helping to continue the eight programs we host through the Light Foundation right here in Darke County, Ohio, for free of charge to 8,000 young people each year” states Light. “We are so grateful for their support in every way.”

The Light Foundation’s Winter Wonderland at Chenoweth Trails fundraising event will run three nights: Friday, Dec. 8, from 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 9, from 6 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. There is no RSVP needed and only a small fee is required to enter the dazzling holiday-themed display.

“The “Adopt-a-Tree” display is on track to be the best one yet,” adds Program and Marketing Manager Brandi Turner. “For a tax-deductible sponsorship fee of as little as $50, local businesses, families, schools, or organizations will decorate a tree that we provide them with for the weekend. It’s a great opportunity for them to spread the word about their business or passion while doing something fun and impactful for their community,” she continued, “Plus, it really brings them together while planning how they’re going to decorate and especially while preparing it the day before the event. The sponsors are so creative–and very competitive—in their tree decorating for the contest.”

Attendees will vote on their favorite decorated tree — and the sponsor with the most votes will receive a holiday themed trophy to display in their office.

The Light Foundation is also giving six-foot artificial pre-lit trees to the first five people each night that come to the event and put $50 or more in the donation box at the entrance and to one lucky winner each night that votes on their favorite “Adopt-a-Tree.”

The funds raised at the Winter Wonderland event will go directly to the Light Foundation to help the nonprofit carry out its hands-on, outdoor programs that include Camp Vohokase, Matt Light Youth Football Camp, Timber Frame Leadership Camp, the LIGHT Project, Hooked on Fishing, and a Youth Wild Turkey Hunt for area youth.

“With all the uncertainty in the world right now, young people need guidance and mentorship more than ever,” concluded Troy Eden, Chief Operations Officer. “Being able to offer our community at large the chance to give back, celebrate the holidays, and provide opportunities for our youth to advance on their leadership journey perfectly represents the spirit of the season.”

The top sponsors for the event include American Legion Post #140, Gordon Food Services, Leis Realty, MM Defense, VFW, Denlinger Home Solutions, Park National Bank, Family Health Services of Darke County, G&G Floor Fashions, Flaig Lumber Co., Inc., Darke Rural Electric Cooperative, and My County Link.

If you are interested in volunteering at the event, baking cookies, or donating, call 937-316-6352 or email [email protected]. The location of the event is at Chenoweth Trails, 440 Greenville Nashville Road, Greenville.

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