December 2, 2020
Mooresville, Ind. – From December 5 to 24, homes around Mooresville will be decorated with twinkling Christmas lights for the Mooresville Christmas Light Tour.
Started in 2019 by Mooresville resident Suni Johnson, the tour began as an act of goodwill to raise Christmas spirit as well as funds for local nonprofit organizations during the holidays. Now, it’s needed more than ever.
“It’s been a challenging year,” Johnson said. “We’re looking forward to spreading joy to our community this holiday season, as well as raising money for nonprofits that have supported local residents through one of the most difficult times on record.”
On December 5, a map will be available with more than 30 tour homes and businesses which will be lit with exterior Christmas lights and décor nightly until December 24. The public is encouraged to drive by and view the outdoor lights, then vote for their favorite home or business.
Voting will be done by text donation. Each stop on the tour has a unique code that can be texted to 50155 to initiate a donation of $2 or more. The home that raises the most money will win a packed gift basket with local gift cards and items, as well as a trophy. Each stop’s unique code will be on the map, as well as on a yard sign. Johnson hopes that individuals will be generous with their vote donation, going above and beyond the $2 minimum in the spirit of the holiday.
This year, Churches in Mission, Boys & Girls Club of Morgan County and Peace Restored will receive all profits from the event. Last year’s light tour raised over $2,500. This year, event organizers are hoping to double that number. Business sponsorships have helped offset the cost of event expenses such as advertising and the text service fee. All funds will run through the Community Foundation of Morgan County for transparency.
All three chosen nonprofits have seen an increase in requests for services this year, which has stretched budgets. Peace Restored will end the year with a 55 percent growth in services, but is down about 50 percent in revenue due to fundraising event cancellations caused by COVID-19. The nonprofit, which serves women through counseling, support groups and other services, also increased from three to seven staff members this year.
Churches in Mission has served more families than ever in 2020, but had its highest spike before Thanksgiving, and the need is only growing as they move into the Christmas season.
“Need does not take a holiday or vacation, nor does need step aside to allow a pandemic to run its course,” said David Maurer, executive director of Churches in Mission. “We have been nimble in the way we provide for our community, supplying food, rent and utility assistance, and life coaching in a time of great need.”
The Boys & Girls Club of Morgan County was the first nonprofit to re-open for full-day summer programming for youth and teens, all of whom had been out of school for over four months. Families only pay $20 per child for the year, while the actual cost to the club to provide services is more than $1,000 per person.
The light tour coordinators – including Johnson, Cora Biggs and Sarah Richardson – have been working behind the scenes for weeks to recruit participants and sponsors. New this year is a website at MooresvilleLights.com and a Facebook page at Facebook.com/MooresvilleLights.
Each tour stop will be uniquely decorated, and some feature moving lights or lights synchronized to music from specific radio channels.
“The beauty of this event is it’s free, the schedule is flexible, and you can view as many homes as you wish,” Johnson said. “Last year, my family and I drove to parts of the tour on three different nights. It’s a great pastime to share, so we really hope people will enjoy this simple activity.”
Event organizers are seeking donations of gift cards, items or services for the winner’s gift basket. Some business sponsorship opportunities are also still available.
More information about the tour can be found at MooresvilleLights.com. The tour map will be available on the website for download beginning December 5.