Meadow Musika was absolutely pumped with the light up as she got to help Santa light up the hospital. Max Winkelman photo.

Over 100 hours of setup for Starry Nights

Ongoing fundraising campaign for urology outreach program

Following the Santa Claus Parade on Friday, Nov. 22, the South Cariboo Health Foundation (SCHF) kicked off it’s annual Starry Nights campaign with a celebration.

Aside from Millsite and Fischer Place residents, firefighters, RCMP officers and member of the public gathered outside the 100 Mile District General Hospital to watch the light up.

Eric Herl, from Herl Electric, says it’s his sixth year putting the lights up (though not all under Herl Electric).

He starts setting up for it at the end of September because how fast it goes depends on the weather, he says.

“If you get a bad batch of weather, it adds to the time. So you go for it when you can.”

He doesn’t know how many lights are there but says it takes over 100 hours to set it up.

Then he comes back four to five times before the light up to make sure.

“You do a test fire in the daytime.”

They make little subtle changes to the setup, he says. This year they added two little moons as well as some strings of lights.

“[We’re] trying to slowly build on it right?”

You have to enjoy setting up that many lights because sometimes it just doesn’t work and you have to figure it out, he says.

The lights will stay on until the end of January. The goal this year is to raise $21,000 for a high-tech Cystoscope and a urology cart. They got a good start on that goal when the 100 Mile Lions club donated $10,000 on Nov. 14.

“This urology outreach program has really just expanded. Like, nobody knew it was this big,” says Brenda Devine, SCHF public relations and fundraising co-ordinator.

“I think it reflects [in] our donations this year because a lot of people that I’ve never seen before are donating. I think they really want this program to keep going.”

In addition to the light-up, Santa made an appearance and there were cookies and hot beverages.

Devine thanks all the businesses who help in getting the lights ready.

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