BOTKINS — The community of Botkins is again celebrating the holidays with their third annual exterior illumination contest. Anyone can participate by simply adding some holiday cheer to the outside of their homes.
The contest has already begun for the 2022 holiday season, but there is still plenty of time for community members to decorate their homes and vote for their favorite decorations. Voting is done by simply driving around the community and sending donations, or votes, in the name of the owner of whichever house and individual would like to vote for. Each dollar donated equals one vote and voting ends at Jan. 1, 2023 at midnight. The winner will be announced the following day, Jan. 2, and the winner will get to split the amount of money raised through donations/votes with the Botkins Beautification Club and the opportunity to light the village Christmas tree at Veterans Memorial Park for 2023.
All votes or donations go towards helping beautify Botkins, including decorating the memorial park for Christmas and other activities throughout the year.
“Anything that helps to beautify or unify our village, that’s what we’re all about,” said Botkins Beautification Club President Nancy Stutsman.
The Botkins Exterior Illumination Contest is on its third year and originally started during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to give members of the community a fun and safe activity to participate in for the holidays, build community and to help supplement funds since their usual fundraiser, a Christmas Tour of Homes, was cancelled due to the pandemic. Although the nation is no longer shut down due to COVID, the event was such a great “community builder” that the Botkins Beautification Club chose to continue the event despite it not raising as much money as the Christmas Tour of Homes and other fundraisers.
There are no limits on the amount of votes an individual can make nor on how many different homes someone can vote for.
“We had somebody, maybe our first year, donate $100 and they written out on a sheet that they had gone for a drive with their family and anywhere that one of the kids said ‘oh, look at that one,’ they got one vote. So I just imagine that that family had a tremendous evening driving around looking at lights and then were very, very generous in supporting the community to donate that amount of money,” said Stutsman.
To vote, community members may send their donations in the homeowner’s name to Nancy Stutsman via mail to Nancy Stutsman at 17300 Heiland Kies Road, PO box 15; Venmo, @Nancy-Stutsman-1; or in person. If you are not sure who lives at the home you would like to vote for, simply include the address and Stutsman and the Botkins Beautification Club will find out who the vote will go toward.