Holiday Lights 10th annivesary-01By Dennis Osmundson (Oz) |

Best. Year. Ever. We are grateful to the community for making the 2014 Holiday Lights the most successful year ever.  “The 203 volunteers and thousands of visitors made the 10th annual Holiday Lights a record year,” said David Runyon, Executive Director. “We also praise the support from our corporate sponsors, Decorah Bank and Trust and Olson Explosives Inc., as well as the display, 5K, media, giveaway, and nightly sponsors, the Santas, and fireworks donors, the Jerry Kelly family.”

Visitors came in record numbers and were wonderfully generous. This year we had 739 more cars than any other year, and with that our freewill donations were the best yet. Typically, our volunteers greeted an average of 137 cars per night, with an all-time single night record of 281 cars just a few days before Christmas.  With sponsorships and freewill donations, Northeast Iowa has helped us raise nearly 40% of our annual fundraising goal.

The Holiday Lights Christmas drive-through light display is a vital fundraiser that also introduces more people to Helping Services’ mission and programs — providing assistance to victims of domestic violence; working to end child abuse and to strengthen families; empowering people to prevent misuse and illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; and connecting youth to positive role models through mentoring.

While the attention grabbing Lights only happen during the holiday season, serving local children, adults, and families happens daily at Helping Services. You can join us through the many volunteer opportunities available on an ongoing basis.  Or, help us raise that remaining 60% of our fundraising goal by donating securely online.

Thank you, Northeast Iowa, for showing us that you value supporting victims of domestic violence, encouraging strong family relationships, ending substance abuse, and giving youth positive role models. By being part of Holiday Lights, you are part of that mission.


“As the volunteers were driving out the gate and I was about to turn off the lights, a woman on foot approached me, asking me to read something. I wasn’t sure what this might be about as we stepped under a light. She had a greeting card with her message of thanks to Helping Services and a donation. She told me, “Helping Services saved my life.”

Read Deb’s whole story of this special experience at the Light’s this year.


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