Rotary Volunteers Repair Winter Wonderland after Wind Damage

Rotary Lights - B Butler Photo

Wind Storm Caused Extensive Damage at Lights Show

After Monday’s windstorm, volunteers spent more than eight hours Tuesday at Rotary Winter Wonderland repairing extensive sign and display damage.

“The Rotary sign at the drive through entrance was bent beyond help. The mega tree base came loose and was bent so bad we had to use Dale (Smith)’s pickup to pull it back into shape,” reported volunteer Phil Phillips. “I put in 10 long stakes to hold the base temporarily. The volunteer signs were flattened. The central display had two trees, star panel, and pole star flattened.”

Other damage included the big sign at the south end of the eagle pen, which was flat on the ground. Candy cane lights were broken in four places from panels falling on them, as well as two small panels were knocked down at the south end of the fox pen. Many GFI’s were tripped, with three permanently out, and two black computer boxes were tipped over.

“After eight hours of work from Dale, John (Wing), three Solutionz men, and myself, we got everything up except the Rotary sign,” said Phillips. “We took the Rotary sign apart and took it to the shed.”

Al Nystrom, Operations and Finance Chair, credits the work of dedicated volunteers, especially Phillips, Smith, Wing, and Roy Covert, for keeping the park operating daily.

“There is no Rotary Winter Wonderland without this group,” said Nystrom. “It is a huge undertaking to maintain 1.5 million lights and dozens of outdoor displays against the elements of nature.”

“We have several volunteers in our group that make this project the best show in our area and a great way to raise money and food for the needy. I find it very challenging, and gratifying to build an exhibit that brings visitors into Marshfield from all over the Midwest,” added Phillips. “Coming from a farm background, I think I have a unique skill set to contribute to this undertaking. It makes me feel special to work beside and with members from Rotary and the community at large. Our demanding work load gets me out of the house and keeps me good physical condition. I will stay involved with Rotary Winter Wonderland as long as the good Lord keeps me fit.”

“Rotary and the community are working hard to run a project to help feed the hungry in our area and I want to do my part,” said Wing. “I think that the most gratifying part of this project is the total community support that we receive. Organizations, churches, schools, youth groups and many others work with us to collect food. Everyone seems to have a fun time and are proud to help. Rotary has many wonderful projects throughout the world but this Marshfield project is special to me.”

“We want the display to look its best for our visitors, and to honor the work of so many who designed and built our Wonderland,” added Nystrom. “We know many visitors travel from a distance to view our work, and we want to provide the best possible experience.”

Rotary Winter Wonderland is open every night through December 31, from 5:00pm-9:00pm. Admission is free with donation of cash or food item.

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