By Kylie Stamper
Several volunteers gave time out of their day on Tuesday to help install displays throughout Island Park for Isle of Lights. The Isle of Lights is a Winfield tradition and has been since 1993. It is run solely by volunteers and donations and has become a staple in many Christmas traditions.
Although it was one of the coldest day of the season, there were plenty of volunteers to keep things running. It is an atmosphere of hard workers, friendships and community involvement.
Nolan Davenport, accounting senior, said, “This is a big deal in the city and we really wanted to get involved in the community. This is something that the entire community enjoys and everybody at Southwestern enjoys too.” Davenport and other students from STUFU volunteered their morning to help with Tuesday’s setup.
Set up brings people from all over Winfield to Island Park to achieve one common goal: to help bring the Isle of Lights to life. Elaine Rankin, volunteer, said, “You work with a good group of people. The Isle of Lights represents the spirit of Winfield: the welcoming, something that appeals to people of all ages.”
Visitors travel from all areas of the United States including Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, and even Alaska to see the lights. “People plan to come see their family when Isle of Lights is on which is amazing,” said Robyn Voss, volunteer. Voss is from Australia but has lived in Winfield for several years. She said, “It’s just a way to help out in the community.”
Schools, clubs and companies bring groups to assist in the setup. Rubbermaid had a group of volunteers that wanted to help out in the community. Eric Woods, Rubbermaid employee and volunteer, said, “It’s a nice community event. It’s kind of chilly today but we’re getting by with some hard work.”
Volunteers are also in the process of making the switch to LED lights for the displays. A handful of students from Leadership, Discipleship and Green Team at Southwestern joined together and helped change lights for several displays on Sunday. The whole purpose of Isle of Lights is to create a safe, fun environment to help spread the Christmas cheer.
Davenport said, “It brings the Christmas spirit out throughout the entire community. Everybody enjoys it and I feel like this really helps Winfield to be a better town. We’re doing this for a good cause. We’re doing this to help the community out. We’re doing this for Southwestern. We’re doing this for the town of Winfield. That’s what we’re doing it for. It’s Christmas. That’s what it is.”
The Isle of Lights opens on Nov. 17 and ends on Dec. 30. The park is open nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free for all ages.
Kylie Stamper is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email her at email@example.com.