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PlanetChristmas Magazine July 2012

the Summers, so he didn’t know how much help he would be with planning future events. So I took a shot in the dark, and contacted Jeff to see if he would be interested in helping plan Light Up Ohio. Jeff readily accepted and he has become the backbone of Light Up Ohio, plus he has become a good friend. Light Up Ohio is the premier holiday lighting gathering in the entire state. Back in May, we planning food now, but back in 2007 we were just had our 6th Annual event, in Columbus, new at it. Scott had some experience because of Ohio. Scott had to bow out of being involved his girls being in sports and helping plan sport- because of other commitments, so we asked ing events, so he basically took that responsibil- Joe Erdeljac and Joe and Laura Davis to help ity on. us out in securing a place to hold our event. Then we started thinking about asking ven- They found the perfect location, and every- dors to our event. At first we didn’t think any body really had a great time. Light Up Ohio would be interested in sponsoring a small event has grown by leaps and bounds since that first like ours, but we were very surprised. Most of year, and our attendance keeps getting bet- the vendors you see here on PlanetChristmas ter and better. We try to keep the attendance have supported us in one way or another over down between 50-75 people, simply because the years, and some have supported us since the we feel that it creates a much more personal beginning. I would be reluctant to name them, experience than a bigger group event. simply because I wouldn’t want to take the We have introduced lots of firsts at our events, chance on missing someone. We really appreci- like when Walter and Jackie Monkhouse first ate everything they do for us, and we hope that developed the JUMP (Jack Up Mega Pole) sys- our event has helped them, also. We believe tem, and introduced it at Light Up Ohio. Also, in supporting vendors that support us and we when they came out with the new and improved stress that a lot at our events. version, Jeremy Brown actually showed how to So we set the date, advertised the event and set it up, and we raised it to 20’ in the parking just waited for what we knew would be 100’s of lot. Valerie and Gary from Christmas-LED’s people signing up. Well, it wasn’t quite 100’s, surprised everybody one year with Gunther but it was 23. Everybody had a great time, and (he was scary). This year we had the Buckeye they seemed to have learned a lot. It was so Santa’s, which is a nationwide group of pro- small that everybody got to know each other fessional Santa’s. There are many other things one-on-one. We shared ideas, we listened to the like Elf-Ormation Stations, real time chat on presenters, we joked around, we had wonderful our website, mobile app for our website, and food, but most of all it was 23 people gather- the list goes on and on. We have had 14 states ing together to talk about their passion, holiday represented at Light Up Ohio, with people lighting. Yes, it was a success. coming from as far away as California and In 2008, I met Jeff Phillips, who was an Canada. We have had celebrities attend, like attendee at Light Up Ohio 2008. Over the years Carson Williams. But the best thing of all is I have seen, and talked to, many holiday lighting that we are helping people make their displays enthusiasts. I can usually spot the ones that are the best they can be. Light Up Ohio’s motto is truly passionate about the hobby, and Jeff was “Making Memories,” and Jeff and I truly hope one of those people. After Light Up Ohio 2008 that we are helping you achieve that goal. was over, Scott told me that he was getting real Merry Christmas from Light Up Ohio. busy with his kid’s sports and coaching through Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings. July 2012 | PlanetChristmas 61


PlanetChristmas Magazine July 2012
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