Hope and a belief in the goodness of people spurs a local group to share the true spirit of Christmas. 

With money still coming in, Christmas Lights of Hope has reached $61,000 in donations from local businesses and community members.

Vice President of The Carmi Christmas Elves Inc. organization, Amber Ackerman said, “We have exceeded our expectations of our great community!” 

The Carmi Christmas Elves Inc. organization was formed by a group of citizens who want to make a difference. This non-profit organization’s mission continues to be providing support, both financial and otherwise, to local youth and poverty-stricken residents through events such as Christmas Lights of Hope. 

The main goal for this year has been to get enough individuals to sponsor the event, that way the light show can be a huge and spectacular experience, for not only the residents of Carmi, but for people in the surrounding areas. While the money has been going towards the light show, some portions of the donations have gone towards the backpacking program through the school system.

Ackerman explained, "Our long-term goal is to have a full time, permanent food pantry for our community. We recently learned that Evansville food pantry used to supply our needy youth with food bags that went home with them every weekend, this year that grant has run out." Thankfully there have been local churches willing to help fill the need.

Christmas Lights of Hope will be at the Carmi Fairgrounds starting on November 29 and 30 from 6 pm to 9 pm. It will be open every Friday and Saturday evening through the 21 and then remain on through the evening of Christmas Night. 

The price at the gate will be $5 per car donation. “We are asking for a $5 per car donation in hopes that people who can give will give generously and people who cannot give will still be able to enjoy the show!” said Ackerman.