Underneath the dazzling ensembles of holiday lights enchanting drivers who wind their way through Regional Park this time of year stands Nancy Sjulin looking to shine light in the lives of others.
Sjulin, with Citizens Bank, was joined by a handful of co-workers Sunday volunteering during the Festival of Lights. Each year, 20 percent of the donations collected by Citizens Bank employees — and all volunteers for the festival — is donated to area nonprofits.
“It’s a great opportunity for employees of Citizens Bank to be part of the Festival of Lights,” Sjulin said. “What happens is the employees come out, volunteer our time and give back to the community.”
Citizens Bank plans to donate to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree project, which benefits underprivileged children.
The Ardmore Chamber of Commerce compiles a waiting list of local businesses wishing to spread holiday cheer. Sjulin said Citizens Bank expects to raise more money this year than in years past since the company was able to draw more weekend days to volunteer.
Weekends are high-traffic times for the Festival of Lights, resulting in a higher volume of donations. Citizens Bank is aiming to give around $500-600 in donations this year.
“It’s really luck of the draw,” Sjulin said. “But we’ve got more weekend nights, and expect to be able to give more money.”
Perhaps more beautiful than the brilliant lights in Regional Park is the wide array of license plates from different states that Sjulin has noticed fixed on cars carrying admirers of the show.
“It’s just a wonderful addition to Ardmore, and the Parks Department does a fabulous job putting this on each year,” Sjulin said. “People are coming off the Interstate to see what it’s all about.”