Holiday Lights in the Park breaks records in attendance and charitable giving

The lights may be off, but the success of Holiday Lights in the Park continues to radiate a positive glow. The fifth edition of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Holiday Lights in the Park event produced in partnership with King of Kings Lutheran Church of Woodbury brought in record crowds and a new benchmark for donations collected for local charities. A record 20,478 cars visited St. Paul's Phalen Park to witness one of the area's biggest and brightest holiday lights displays. While there, visitors donated a record $80,000 to be donated to local charities including Second Harvest Heartland, Union Gospel Mission, Saint Paul Parks Conservancy and UnderConstruction. In addition, "Holiday Lights, Vol.4," the official holiday CD of the display sold out and a concert featuring several of the artists featured on the CD played to its biggest crowd ever on Dec. 9 at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis.

"This year's record numbers make us smile, but it's the smiles we receive from our charitable partners for helping serve others that inspire us to work even harder on their behalf's next year" Vicki Sandberg , co-chair of Holiday Lights in the Park.

In a time when overall charitable contributions are down overall, Holiday Lights in the Park continues to surpass its previous year's donations to local organizations. The support given by the IBEW and King of Kings Lutheran Church does not go overlooked by its recipients.

"We offer a very humble thank you to the IBEW Holiday Lights in the Park and King of Kings for their generous donations gathered at their inspiring event," said Ken Peterson, executive director of the Union Gospel Mission. "We also want to thank all of the families who drove out to Phalen Park to see the beautiful display and give to the cause."

"We are very grateful of the support from the IBEW's Holiday Lights in the Park," said Mary DesJarlais, a program coordinator for UnderConstruction. "Without this kind support we wouldn't be able to get ready for our ninth summer of readying Minnesotans to find gratifying employment or apprenticeships."

After five years of brilliant lights and philanthropy, the IBEW is already looking forward to next year's display. "We always want to grow. Not only in terms of the display, but in what we can give back to the community," said Sandberg.

About Holiday Lights:

IBEW Holiday Lights in the Park was developed with the sole purpose of creating fun and affordable holiday events that raise funds to help meet basic life needs for children and adults in the Twin Cities metro area. All of the net proceeds of the CD and Holiday Lights events will be distributed to Second Harvest Heartland, Union Gospel Mission, Saint Paul Parks Conservancy and UnderConstruction.

About King of Kings Lutheran Church:

Located in Woodbury, Minn, King of Kings Lutheran Church is a vibrant church community dedicated to equipping people for God's work in the world and growing members’ faith in Christ and sharing his love with the world. For more information please visit www.kingofkingswoodbury.org.