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Shelbyville High School’s “Lighted Holiday Forest” is an attempt to establish new tradition



Shelbyville, Indiana – Students at Shelbyville High School want to carry on a brand-new holiday custom.

The school is holding its second annual Lighted Holiday Forest, which takes place on Fridays in December.

More than 20,000 lights and various inflatable decorations are used in the holiday light show.

According to Jack Shoaf, a science instructor and manager of Ecology Lab, posting everything took roughly a week.

The ecology lab’s development will be funded in part by the donated monies.

“We really want to develop this to become sort of a premier outdoor education area,” Shoaf said. “Not only for our school district, for the whole area. Not too many schools have seven acres of woodlands to work with. We’re just trying to make it accessible for all students.”

Champions Together, the Earth Club Speech and Debate Team, the FFA chapter, and the Latin Club of the school will each receive half of the remaining revenue.

On certain nights, students from various groups assisted with setting up the lights and collecting the entrance.

Olivia Bowman, a senior at SHS, participates in the speech team, FFA, and Latin Club. She claims that assembling everything was enjoyable.

“It’s been absolutely wonderful to see kids walk in and be so excited to see all the lights and the inflatables,” Bowman said. “Just knowing that we get to bring families together and raise money for a good cause has just been absolutely heartwarming.”

Champions Together collaborates with the Special Olympics to provide sporting opportunities for students with disabilities.

Renee Gardner, a sponsor and life skills instructor, says the community has been incredibly welcoming.

“We raise a minimum of $1,500 to Special Olympics,” Gardner said. “[Our funds from the forest] will go toward our Special Olympics of Indiana donation.”

Cash only; admission is $5 for individuals and $10 for families. On Friday, December 29, the Lighted Holiday Forest is open from sundown to nine p.m.



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