This is an article I wrote for the HACC Lancaster campus newspaper “Live Wire.”
The third annual Lebanon’s North Pole (LNP), with over 60,000 lights to view, promises to inspire holiday spirit with a number of nonprofit charity events. Lebanon’s North Pole, central Pennsylvania’s largest, 100-percent LED Christmas light display is gearing up for another fun, festive, and giving holiday season. The display, along with its associated events, will take place each Saturday from Nov. 28 through Dec. 26, from 5 to 9 p.m. with the possibility of running later. This is the third holiday season that Justin Smith will be creating a winter wonderland at his home. Smith is the owner and creator of the spectacular display that adults and children alike will enjoy. Smith’s goal with this event is to bring the community together.
This event is free and open to the public. You can, however, bring in canned goods, toys, or jackets to donate that to local charities. If you do bring one of those items to donate, you will receive a free ticket for the basket raffle. Visiting families can also visit with Santa at LNP and have their photos taken with him. The cost of the picture is $5.00 and that money goes to local charity. Last year’s event raised $5,950, which was split 7 ways to local charities, and over 200 pounds of canned goods was donated for food banks in the area. When asked why he spends so much time and energy putting LNP together, Smith said, “I want to bring people to Lebanon to enjoy each other’s company and bring positivity to the community.”
LPN needs volunteers to do multiple jobs during the event. They are willing to work with groups, clubs, and individuals. “We need volunteers to help with our initial set up, tear down, and the five Saturday night that we are open to the public,” Said Smith. Sponsors are also something Smith is looking into; “None of the money made at these events goes into my pocket, but I spend a lot to get it running. Having sponsors to help offset the cost would be great,” said Smith. As of now, LNP offers a handful of ways sponsors can help, whether it be donations or offering items for the charity raffle. Each sponsor name is published in the emails that are sent out to the visiting families that take their photos with Santa.
This year, Smith is hoping to have a movie projector set up to play Christmas movies for the kids. He is also looking into finding children’s out door games that can be easily set up and taken down. LNP also offers hot chocolate and a bake sale each night it is open but Smith would also like to have a local food truck involved in the event to give visitors more options. If you would like to volunteer at Lebanon’s North Pole, you can email Justin Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at http://www.sensationlights.com/.
The HACC’s Lancaster campus SGA is also hosting a food drive this holiday season. The 2nd annual Hunger Games food drive is being held from October 7 to November 6. You can donate non-perishable food items to support HACC students at the barrels located outside of the SGA office or the bookstore. Students who would like to receive food from this drive, can pick up a confidential registration form at multiple locations across campus and return it completed to the SGA office before November 7. The Lancaster campus SGA is also hosting a holiday dinner on November 17 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the Footnotes Café located in the main building. For more information or to get involved, stop in the office of Student Life, Main 105, or call 358-2867 or 358-2858.
Here is a photo of my family at Lebanon’s North Pole for Christmas 2014.