All pleased with lighting contest

After spending a year building up the impressive light display in front of their First Street East home, the Turgeons were delighted to hear they were one of the first-place winners in the Rainy River Future Development Corp.’s “Lighting up the Valley” contest.
“We’re very happy. We put a lot into it,” said Barb Turgeon, who along with her husband, Charlie, set up this year’s display over four-five days.
The couple won a similar contest two years ago but Turgeon noted things have changed in the community since then
“When I’m out walking the dogs, I notice everyone has some kind of lights out this year, which is impressive,” she remarked. “Fort Frances, in general, has done a good job [decorating] this year.”
In second place behind the Turgeons for the Mine Centre-Fort Frances zone were Anne and Russ Jourdain of Couchiching while Lynn McPherson, also of Couchiching, was third.
Crozier residents Stan and Vicki Calder topped the Crozier-Emo zone, followed by Oscar and Carol Burnell (Finland) in second and Cindy and Morris Judson (Emo) third.
Meanwhile, Mildred and Ben Lindal of Arbor Vita took top honours in the west end of the district, with Deb and Ross Armstrong (Rainy River) second and Oliver Nault (Rainy River) third.
There were about 15 entrants in each zone.
Winners received gift certificates from participating sponsors equalling $240, $130, and $70 in value for first, second, and third place respectively.
More than 15 sponsors from Rainy River, Emo, Stratton, and Fort Frances contributed the prizes.
“I’m happy with how it turned out,” said Moe Henry of the RRFDC’s marketing committee, who co-organized the contest with Deb Ward.
Although Henry previously had stated the number of entrants seemed a little low, he noted he didn’t feel that way now.
“If you look at [Sunday’s] Winnipeg Free Press, they have a piece on the lighting contest they have there. They had a total of 235 entries and we got 50.
“We didn’t do too bad after all,” he remarked.
Henry also was impressive with the quality of the displays this year, which he attributed to the late arrival of winter.
“It gave people more time to spend outdoors decorating,” he reasoned.
Ward also was pleased with the contest despite a hitch or two. “The community showed a lot of spirit–even those who weren’t entered,” she noted.
“Everybody should be proud of themselves,” she added.
One such “hitch” was CFOB’s “Tour of Lights” scheduled for last Thursday, which had to be cancelled due to a lack of interest.
“There weren’t enough people,” Ward said. “We had 12 people signed up and then two of them cancelled before I even got to cancel the tour myself.
“We still had to pay for the bus,” she remarked.