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Assistance League, Hillside House Light Up Holidays

Just in time for the holidays, Assistance League of Santa Barbara and Hillside House are teaming up to create a spectacular display of lights and decorations on their properties.

The public is invited to drive by Veronica Springs Road off of Las Positas for the official opening of the first ever Shining Light on Abilities at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9.

Craig Olson, executive director, Hillside House, said he sees Shining Light on Abilities as a way for residents to play a role in the holidays and to be part of the Veronica Springs neighborhood holiday tradition.

“We want to shine a light on our residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities and focus on all that they can do,” Olson said.

“We’re so pleased to be part of the celebration with Hillside House," said Carolyn Dennis, chapter president, Assistance League of Santa Barbara. "Our beautiful neighborhood has exhibited the holiday spirit for many years, and now the lights will shine even brighter.”

Working with the facility departments of both nonprofit organizations and designing the displays is Riccardo Morrison, the artistic director of the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade.

“I am thrilled to be part of this collaboration," Morrison said. "Plus, I am repurposing an inflatable sculpture that was part of the Solstice Parade, created by artist Pali X-Mano, and transforming it into a giant snow globe. It is a wow.”

During the Thanksgiving break, eight Boy Scouts from Troop 37 of Santa Barbara helped assemble and install the decorations. For Johann Trujillo, their Scout master, community service projects are ideal for the Scouts.

“We had a lot of fun working together and helping out Hillside House," he said. "I am proud of our Scouts, who spent their day off making sure the residents will have a wonderful holiday. We look forward to volunteering at Hillside House in the future.”

Shining Light on Abilities has been made possible thanks in part to Home Depot (Goleta), Home Improvement Center of Santa Barbara, and the Hillside House Family and Friends Group. Santa Barbara Trolley, The Land Shark, and Rock Star Trolley will be including the two nonprofits on their holiday light tours.

The public can check out Shining Light on Abilities through Dec. 25.

For information about Hillside House, volunteer opportunities, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.hillsidehousesb.org or contact Michael Padden-Rubin, director of development, at [email protected] or 687-0788, ext.115.

— Curt Lauber for Assistance League.


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