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Family makes volunteering at Kiwanis Holiday Lights a Christmas tradition

The Tobin family has spent the last seven Christmases together at the lights.
Volunteers greet visitors at Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Mankato, Minn.
Volunteers greet visitors at Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Mankato, Minn.(KEYC News Now)
Published: Dec. 25, 2021 at 9:48 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - For many families, a trip to Kiwanis Holiday Lights has become a Christmas tradition.

Joe Meidl, a Kiwanis executive board member said, “People are out and enjoying the whole thing, and the cars haven’t stopped. It’s been very active all night long.”

It’s all thanks to volunteers, like the Tobins, who make it happen.

“It’s just something that we like to do as a family. We started it because all of us are in volunteer clubs in high school, and now that me and my sister both graduated, we still come back just because of all the people, and we just like to volunteer together and see all the lights go up,” said Grace Tobin.

The Tobin family has spent the last seven Christmases together at the lights.

Trisha Tobin added, “We aren’t actually members of any nonprofit this year. We’re just volunteering, because we enjoy it and like that Kiwanis donates money to such a large variety of charities.”

Volunteering has become an annual family tradition.

Olivia Tobin mentioned, “It’s just something as a family that we can all do together. We come down here, and we do it every year, so it’s not like it’s gonna change, so we know we’ll always be together doing this.”

Medil said people like the Tobins are the reason it’s called the season of giving.

“They started showing up as a family every year and in multiple different things, from setup, to tear-down, to helping us run the park in a night,” Medil stated.

The Tobins said it’s all about being together and helping others celebrate with their loved ones.

Trisha added, “When they just come by and you can see the joy in their eye, and the amazement, and the lights-- that’s the best part.”

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