Rolling Meadows lights display offers more than holiday cheer - New York News

Rolling Meadows lights display offers more than holiday cheer

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Lots of people put up holiday lights this time of year to decorate their homes. Some displays, like the folks in Rolling Meadows, get pretty extravagant.

But ‘Lights on Magnolia;' has taken efforts to a new level, as the rocking display is not only for entertainment, but for a good cause too.

The flashing light display started four years ago, and the last three years neighbors joined in the effort and it took on new meaning.

Instead of just giving the community something to look at, the families behind it asked people to give back.

The light display is a visual masterpiece, computer synchronized among four houses with Christmas music being played over the radio for the cars that parade through the neighborhood.

"We actually live around the corner and we come here all the time to watch it," neighbor Anne Dwyer said. "I love it, I think it's awesome, I think it's great that they put it on for the community and that they also ask for donations."

The families of the homes also ask for donations of non-perishable items that go to the Bethel Lutheran food pantry nearby.

It's the second year that those involved with the ‘Lights on Magnolia' display have collected canned goods and cash to make a difference. All while making people feel a little more festive.

"Last year we collected 500 pounds of food, approximately, I personally took over about eight car loads and about $700. So we do this not just to be flashy in the neighborhood, but it's a wonderful volunteer project as well," ‘Lights on Magnolia' participant Kurt Bahnmaier said.

Beth Carlson comes by all the time and attends Bethel Lutheran church. She likes everything about this effort. "It's awesome. Our church works really hard to reach out to the community so it's nice that we have people in the neighborhood who do special things to help it."

Traffic and donations are a bit down this year, but those involved are hoping the publicity and weekend snow might boost both.

"The week just before Christmas till just after New Year's last year we had a parade that lasted pretty much until the show ended. It was phenomenal, because as far as I could see down the road down here it was nothing but cars and up to the north it was the same thing," Bahnmaier said.

Participants said the neighbors don't complain. In fact, they have instead encouraged their effort.

The ‘Lights on Magnolia' takes place on the 4500 block of Magnolia Drive and turns on at 4:30 p.m. and flash until midnight. If you plan on attending the show, please bring a non-perishable good item to 4505 Magnolia Dr. to be donated to the Bethel Food Pantry.

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