By Steven Hoffman
The Demon Lights Committee is hosting a carnival for the second year in a row to raise money to install lights at the Kennett High School Sports Stadium.
“It was very much a success last year,” Jeff Roland, chairman of the Demon Lights Committee, said of the carnival. “All the patrons really enjoyed it.”
The carnival began on Tuesday, July 16 and runs through Saturday, July 20 on the lawn of Kennett High School. This year's event is taking place two weeks earlier than last year's carnival, Roland said, so Cochranville-based Jim Houghton Enterprises is able to bring a few more rides and attractions.
“We're very excited to have the carnival again this year,” Roland said. “We're going to have some more rides. There will be plenty of carnival games and food. And we're considering every night family night.”
In addition to enjoying carnival favorites like pizza, French fries, cotton candy, and funnel cakes, carnival-goers can purchase a $20 pass for unlimited rides throughout an evening. There are rides and attractions for people of all ages.
All the proceeds of the event will go toward the effort to bring lights to Kennett's Sports Stadium.
Roland and his wife, Cathy, were among the group that spearheaded the fundraising campaign three and a half years ago when district officials encouraged the group to raise the money so that tax dollars didn't have to be used for the project.
“If you're going to have a stadium like that,” Roland said, “you're going to need lights.”
Roland explained that their daughter was a junior the year that the sports stadium opened, and she and the other Kennett athletes typically played their games at 3 o'clock, making it difficult for many parents to attend the games. He said that he thinks that the lights will not only allow more parents to attend games, the atmosphere of night games will be very social.
Roland said that the organization is close to reaching the goal of raising enough money to put in lights at the stadium. The approximate cost is about $95,000 for the lights and an equal amount to that for all the work involved with having them installed—between $180,000 and $190,000 total.
“By the end of the year, including the pledges that we currently have, we will have met our goal to purchase and install the lights,” he said. “I think the level of support from the community this last year has been very good.”
Roland said that he and the other longtime Demon Lights Committee members—Barbara Nash, Jim Nash, Carl Lowe, Carol Lowe, Pam Ramagano, Joe Sexton, Mike Fragale, and Wayne Bruhn among them—will celebrate a job well done...but not until the lights go on for that first night game at some point in the near future.
The Demon Lights Committee has increased its fundraising efforts in the last year to reach the goal.
Roland said that Heather Schaen, a member of the Kennett School Board, is one of the people who've helped out tremendously.
At this point, every fundraising event that the Demon Lights Committee takes part in moves them one step closer to the goal. The organization will once again be handling the sale of wristbands at the entrance to the Mushroom Festival this year in exchange for a contribution.
Roland said that they are still in need of volunteers to help out at the carnival and at the Mushroom Festival. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Roland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We're always looking for volunteers to help us out,” he said.
Roland said that he hopes the carnival will become a tradition in town. It has proven to be an effective fundraiser for the Demon Lights Committee, so perhaps another organization could take it over in the future. The hours for the carnival are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each weeknight and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information, visit www.demonlights.com.