“After the flooding last year, we needed to take a hard look at our location and see if we wanted to continue the risk involved with having the event at Water Works Park,” said Jamie Rasko, marketing & communications manager for Make-A-Wish Iowa. “Moving an event the size of Jolly Holiday Lights is a real challenge and we wanted to make sure that everything made sense logistically before making the move.”
Make-A-Wish Iowa grants a wish about every other day in the state of Iowa and plans to grant 192 in their current fiscal year. The Jolly Holiday Lights fundraiser should have raised enough money to cover the cost of about forty of those wishes.
“We still are in awe of how much the community rallied in those weeks after we closed,” said Rasko. “The individuals, companies and foundations who gave donations on their own and through the #bringthejolly campaign really rescued the event.”
Not all the phone calls that came in to the Make-A-Wish office were for cash donations, though. Adventureland called to suggest that the organization consider their space for the event in the future. The company is donating the space to use and becoming a sponsor of Jolly Holiday Lights in 2016.
"Adventureland Resort is excited to be a sponsor of the Jolly Holiday Lights program and proud that we can contribute to Make-A-Wish Iowa by donating the Adventureland Campground as the new location starting in 2016!" said Adventureland spokeswoman Molly Vincent.
“We’re really excited about working with the Adventureland team and see a lot of potential to enhance the event this year and in the future,” said Rasko.
The organization plans to start setting up for the first time in Altoona beginning in October. Jolly Holiday Lights will be open this fall from November 22nd through January 1st.
# # # #
About Make-A-Wish Iowa
Make-A-Wish® Iowa grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Foundation has granted wishes to more than 3,000 children with life-threatening medical conditions since 1987 and currently grants a wish in Iowa about every other day. To find out more, visit iowa.wish.org. Share the Power of a Wish®!