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Popular Christmas light display finds new home in Kelowna's Kerry Park

Randy Finnigan, a locked-out FortisBC electrician, works to prepare the Christmas light display slated for Kerry Park Friday. Finnigan and four other locked-out FortisBC workers volunteered to help with the project. - Alistair Waters/Capital News
Randy Finnigan, a locked-out FortisBC electrician, works to prepare the Christmas light display slated for Kerry Park Friday. Finnigan and four other locked-out FortisBC workers volunteered to help with the project.
— image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

The Capri Rotary Club will start setting up a large and colourful seasonal light display in Kelowna's Kerry Park today.

After inspections and upgrades of the light display, which was donated to the club by West Kelowna resident Jerry Budnick, along with some minor upgrades to the electrical service in Kerry Park, the club's members and other volunteers started assembling the display Dec. 9. It is expected to take two days to complete.

For 13 years, Budnick set up the extensive Christmas light display outside his Lakeview Heights home and members of the public from throughout the Central Okanagan flocked to see it shine in the night.

“We’re very happy we can get this fun, festive light show set up in time for Christmas this year,” said Capri Rotary Club member Lockie Bracken.

“It took a lot of cooperation from so many people to get the job done and we’re very impressed with the community spirit that went into this project.”

After the club members discovered the display needed upgrades to meet public safety standards, they were assisted by numerous groups and individuals.

Okanagan College, BC Safety Authority and the City of Kelowna provided electrical advice on the upgrades, and five lock-out FortisBC electricians have joined the volunteer team preparing and installing the lights.

A $15,000 grant from the City of Kelowna, along with storage space and assistance with site logistics were also instrumental to the success of this project.

Other assistance came from Ted Callahan of Argus Properties, who provided indoor space for display inspections and upgrades, said Bracken. Houle Electric assisted with the electrical work, while Modu-Loc gave a reduced rate on fencing.

“We really appreciate the generous support of our local businesses and institutions – and we think the residents of Kelowna are going to be very happy to see this display downtown for years to come,” said Bracken.

He said when the cal went out to other Rotary Clubs in the area, like the Kelonwa Rotary Club and the Ogopogo Rotary Club, their membrs were happy to help out as well.

Commissionaires of BC have agreed to provide nightly security checks at no cost and the Downtown Kelowna Association will also assist with security.

On Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m., the first 200 visitors will be treated to hot chocolate compliments of the Peacock Sheridan Group.

At the display, Capri Rotary members will collect donations for the charities they help support, including the Inn From The Cold shelter,  Airon Therapeutic Farm and Shelterbox, which helps international organizations provide emergency shelter in time of disaster.

 

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Community Events, July 2014

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