MOUNT GILEAD — The sky cleared with a bright moon last Thursday night to escort several “Light the Camp” sponsors through the brilliant light display at Flying Horse Farms (FHF.)

A special new display this year was a donation from the Rinehart/Shank light display on SR 19 in North Bloomfield Township.

FHF Events Manager Carrie Dinovo said that the new light display was given by the Rinehart family in memory of Jim Shank who passed away last summer. Shank created the display that includes a dancing bear that was made from washing machine parts, a waving Santa, a sleigh and a lighted candle display.

The “Light up Camp” display is a drive through event that includes 8,000 individual bulbs and more than three miles of lights. People can tune in to Christmas music on a radio station that is coordinated with a moving light display in the central yard.

Dinovo said that in the weekends since Thanksgiving, nearly 700 cars have passed through the ½-mile drive.

Mary and Mason Hupfer were there for “Light up Camp” sponsor Andy Bower of Edward Jones.

“This is my first visit to Flying Horse Farms,” said Mary Hupfer. “This place is beautiful and the barn (The Big Red Barn) is so big. I’m surprised at how modern they have made it.”

Kelly and Steve Finley were there for Finley’s Facility Services and commented, “This is a wonderful place and the staff is so helpful.”

The sponsors gathered before the tour for cookies and hot chocolate in the Big Red Barn. The Sherwin Williams Women’s Club from Cleveland came the farthest distance.

Dinovo talked about FHF Camp that is a “magical experience for children with serious illnesses that include: cancer, heart conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, blood disorders, asthma, gastrointestinal disorders and facial differences.

Camp volunteer Ronda Stevens talked about her experience volunteering and the special fun they have working with children in the woodworking shop at camp.

FHF Camps have served 800-900 children and their families every summer. This year they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the camp.

After a year in 2020 without camp during the pandemic, the camp served nearly 100 families through family camps this year. In November FHF hosted its first camper-only residential camp since 2019.

The camp came up with the idea of the “Light up Camp” event last year to bring joy to everyone in the Christmas season. Campers and people with high risk conditions who need to avoid public or crowded places can be included in this event.

The last weekend for the event is Friday, December 24 – Sunday, December 26. The gates are open from 6-9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 6-8 p.m. Flying Horse Farms is east of Mount Gilead at 5260 SR 95.

Sponsors for “Light up Camp” include:

TITLE SPONSOR: Worthington Industries.

SEASONAL SPONSORS: Big Lots! Consolidated Cooperative, Sherwin Williams Women’s Club.

COMMUNITY SPONSORS: Finley’s Facility Services, Hoof Hearted Brewing, Howard Hanna.

ILLUMINATOR SPONSORS: Coca-Cola Consolidated of Mansfield, Rocky Bonecutter Fishburn Family.

SPARK SPONSORS: Edward Jones Investments – Andy Bower, Med-Flight, Trinity United Methodist Church.

TWINKLE SPONSORS: Cheyenne Peck – Howard Hanna JC Meyer Realtors, H&R Block, Mt. Gilead, James Madison Insurance, Mid-Ohio Sanitation and Recycling, Morrow Little Theatre, Pillar Credit Union, Tidy Tim’s, Inc., Wenger Automotive.

LIGHT UP CAMP FRIENDS: 95.1 WVXG, Corna Kokosing Construction, Inc., Kendra Scott of Easton, Light Up Columbus, Snuggled in Hope, The Rinehart & Shank Family, and Tim Weberding Woodworking.

The Dancing bear and lighted candle are part of the light display that was donated to Flying Horse Farms by the Rinehart/Shank family in North Bloomfield Township. Dancing bear and lighted candle are part of the light display that was donated to Flying Horse Farms by the Rinehart/Shank family in North Bloomfield Township. Courtesy photo | Alberta Stojkovic

By Alberta Stojkovic

For The Sentinel