The 2011 Festival of Lights Celebration, an annual partnership effort by the Abbott House and Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) staff and students, will light up the holiday season December 1. More than 50 MTI students and a half dozen MTI staff members have donated more than 600 hours of work to the project. The MTI Automation Controls/SCADA students were responsible for the music and lights programming and setup and MTI Electrical Construction & Maintenance staff and students as well as instructors from Architectural Design & Building Construction worked on the electrical connections.
Harsh budget cuts earlier this year have made raffle ticket sales for Abbott House rebuilt Harley Davidson Heritage Softtail more important than ever before. The winner of the motorcycle will be drawn during the Abbott House Festival of Lights Celebration on Thursday, December 1 at 5:15 pm.
The Festival of Lights is a great partnership that creates a win-win experience for the Abbott House and MTI, Eric Klooz, Abbott House Executive Director, said. Combining the Festival with the drawing for the motorcycle Salt — which has changed the lives of Abbott House girls — makes the entire event extra special.
The Festival is really the culmination of two great fundraisers for the Abbott House. Together, these two projects have raised more than $75,000, Klooz said. Considering the cuts in funding we have received this year, this event comes at the perfect time.
In addition to funding, the Festival of Lights provides hands-on learning opportunities for MTI students and gives MTI and Abbott House staff and students an opportunity to create one of the area s largest Christmas light displays for people enjoy.
MTI SCADA instructor Tony Russell was pleased to be part of the project. To give our students a chance at such a hands-on project is a valuable learning opportunity. This year we have expanded the program both in amount of lights and geographic area, so it gave our students an entire new challenge. Our students recognize, this is an opportunity for them to showcase their skills so it is always exciting to see what they create.
The 2011 Festival of Lights features many new lighted objects including Christmas trees and a special Abbott House snowman, provided by more than 70 sponsors. The lights were put up by more than 125 volunteers and will be on display from 5:30 to 10 pm every evening through January 2, 2012.