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Festival of Lights winners give back winnings, keep bragging rights

January 7, 2022   ·   0 Comments

On Tuesday, December 21, 2021, members of the Alliston Lions Club visited the three Top Winners in the first annual Lions “Festival of Lights” outdoor decorating challenge.

The winners each received a crisp $50 bill – monies raised by the Lions as part of the $10 contest registration fee – a lawn sign, and bragging rights for an entire year.

All three winners donated their winnings back to the Lions, towards the Christmas Hamper program for 2022, or other community support programs as needed.

The first winners visited by Lions Club members were the owners of 9 Banting Drive. Proclaimed the 1st Place Overall Winner, this location featured a 12’ rooftop star, a variety of light displays and lawn blow-ups collected by the family over the years.

Homeowners Bobbi Frost and Mike Campsall, and their children Maxx and Emma, said they wanted a life-sized sleigh with Santa and all his reindeer for their roof, but couldn’t figure out how to secure it.

“Maybe next year,” Bobbi told The Times. “We collect new things each year as they go on sale after Christmas … so you never know what we’ll add for 2022.”

Having learned about the contest through the Lions’ Facebook page, Frost said she planned to enter again in the future, pointing out the Grinch figure that was stealing her lights on the side of her house.

“There’s a lot of hidden elements in our design,” she said. “We can’t wait for next year.”

Next, the Lions visited the winners of the Community Choice winners at 58 Nelson Street West.

Owner Virginia Cicuttini and her family, Emilo Borrelli and baby Felicity, were thrilled with the win. The house, located across from the Alliston Memorial Arena, featured a lot of moving elements and had something for everyone.

Finally, the Lions went to see the winners of the Griswold prize at 62 Ontario Street.

The spectacular display left nothing to the imagination – every corner, eavestrough and railing was decorated to the nines.

Homeowners Scott and Stephanie Fry and their children Westley and Russell, loved their design and said they even bought the house because they knew how great it would look decorated for the holidays. What a Griswold thing to say, indeed.

The historic house had been upgraded over the years to include new additions, which were, “Wired properly for such an elaborate light display,” said Scott. They have Christmas in the bag!

The judges – Nottawasaga OPP Inspector and Detachment Commander Steve Ridout, Good Shepherd Food Bank vice president Dave Bradbury, Wendy Gabrek, Alliston Lions Club members, and the entrants themselves – gave an honourable mention to the Alliston Community Christian School.

“Wow – it’s just amazing!” said Scott Cooke, Alliston Lions Club member, and Festival of Lights chair. “The display of lights was fantastic, and the judging was so very close and very difficult – some entries were just mere points off of each other. I want to thank everyone for entering. We the Lions are the biggest winners of all though, for having you enter our contest.”

In 2021, the Alliston Lions Club helped over 140 families through its Christmas Hamper Program, with a portion of the proceeds from the entrance fees of the Festival of Lights supporting that initiative.

“If you have any suggestions for improving this event or can think of an event the Lions Club can host that will help our community, or even just a fun event you’d like to see take place, please let us know!” said Cooke. “We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

To reach the Alliston Lions Club ‘Like’ them on Facebook, and send them a Messenger message.

By Wendy Gabrek


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