Volunteers help Rotary Lights avoid setback after heavy vandalism

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — After grinches vandalized nearly $10,000 worth of electrical equipment in the Rotary Lights display, community members jumped in to help.

The La Crosse community came together to help donate electrical equipment and repair electric pedestals so that Rotary Lights can light up Riverside Park with more than 3 million bulbs.

When Rotary Lights directors found out about the vandalism, they were shocked.

“We’ve never in 27 years ever had any problem with anything at Rotary Lights and we kind of pride ourselves with that. So it was a huge disappointment,” said Rotary Lights electrician Mike Diveley.

As soon as area residents heard about the damage, the phones started ringing,

“Our local supply houses were maybe the first to call and say what can we do to help you. We’ve got supplies, we can go through the supply chain, we can find things, and we’ll be glad to donate stuff to you,” Diveley said.

Electricians from around the area volunteered to make sure the lights shine.

“It’s a lot of community pride and once you see the Rotary Lights especially under a snowfall, it’s beautiful, it’s amazing. It’ll make a kid out of someone whos been around many many decades,” said volunteer electrician Tim Sprester.

Rotary Lights directors said they bought even more lights for this year’s show, which they said gives the annual tradition the potential to be one of the best ever.

Rotary Lights display still is expected to open on time on Friday, Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving.

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