Make-a-Wish President on Jolly Holiday Lights Closing: ‘Keep Our Wish Kids in Mind’

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Jolly Holiday Lights was forced to close for the season after heavy rainfall this weekend made it impossible for the drive-through light show to stay open.

“Not a decision that came lightly,” said Chris Vogesser, president and CEO at Make-A-Wish Iowa.

Vogesser said Jolly Holiday Lights is the largest fundraiser for the foundation, so it was tough to close the event Saturday. Organizers hoped to reopen the show Monday, but after reassessing rain totals Sunday and talking with officials at Des Moines Water Works, it was decided the fundraiser would tear down 20 days earlier than planned.

Vogesser said they’re pushing over $200,000 of lost income for Make-A-Wish Iowa. While he says it is a huge blow for the foundation, people have already stepped in.

“I’ve lived here long enough to know this community is amazing. Not only from individuals but also corporations,” he said.

Vogesser said despite the donations that have come in since closing Jolly Holiday Lights, he still asks people donate for the sake of the people Make-A-Wish Iowa helps on a daily basis.

“Unfortunately [closing] poses a challenge to us, but nothing like the challenge our Wish Kids and families face everyday,” he said.

You can donate to Make-A-Wish Iowa by going online, calling the foundation at 515-334-2636 or sending a check to 3024 104th Street Urbandale, IA 50322.

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