‘Festival of Lights’ shines a light on local non-profits

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TUNKHANNOCK, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A holiday tradition exhibits the magic of the holiday season while giving back to local nonprofits.

It was a perfect night to drive through the Festival of Lights at Stone Hedge Golf Course. But on this Thanksgiving eve, the attraction is shining a light on mental health.

Stone Hedge Golf Course near Tunkhannock is lit up for its fifth annual Festival of Lights drive-thru attraction.

“I really liked the minions and I really liked the superheroes. It was really nice. The whole entire thing was really nice,” Lela Giardina of Wilkes-Barre said.

The 2.5-mile drive around the course has something for everyone, as millions of lights illuminate the landscape.

“They’re really into Paw Patrol, so they loved that, they loved the zoo animals, Sesame Street,” Erika Koval of Washington, D.C. said.

While the attraction brings joy to people of all ages, it’s also centered around community outreach.

“To us, we feel that if you profit from a community, you should give back to that community. So every year Monday through Thursday we do a donation night for a different charity,” golf course co-owner Karen Force said.

On Thanksgiving eve, The Burke Center was selected to receive a portion of the proceeds. It’s a non-profit organization that provides mental health and psychiatric services to children and adults.

“Every little bit of funding that we can get allows us to expand our programs, provide services to individuals who might not have insurance, and get the word out there to help de-stigmatize mental health,” The Burke Center operations coordinator Donald Nowland said.

The Festival of Lights at Stone Hedge Golf Course continues until New Year’s Eve.

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