After nearly four years of working, debating and fund raising, the Demon Lights are almost here.
'We are coming down the home stretch,' said fund raising committee chairman Jeff Rowland. 'Our goals are finally coming together.'
In fact, Rowland said that if he were able to account for every dollar and cent pledged to the mission to bring lights to the Kennett High School stadium, he would be at the $180,000 goal – and then some.
But that would be tantamount to counting the proverbial chickens before they hatched.
Instead, Rowland is hoping for another successful carnival to put them into the black and closer to moving ahead with the program.
'We're hoping by the end of year to be finished, as far as raising money,' Rowland said. 'Our ultimate goal is to have everything together this year, but we're not sure that's attainable just yet.'
For the second year in a row, the Demon Lights folks are sponsoring a carnival on the grounds of Kennett High School July 16 to July 20 – and they're hopeful it's the one thing that puts them over the line.
'Things really came together,' Rowland said, placing much of that accomplishment on the original committee, which included himself and his wife Cathy and a handful of close friends and neighbors.
School board member Heather Schaen came on board earlier this year, Rowland added, bringing her own resources and contacts to the mix.
'She helped out tremendously,' Rowland said.
In the past three and a half years, the committee has held a number of different fund raising events, from a beef and beer to car washes to a meet-and-greet with former Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil.
They also recently partnered with Brandywine Brewing Co. for a guest bartender night that netted over $7,000 in one evening, Rowland said.
Selling advertising space on the scoreboard will also offset costs, Rowland said, with Diver Chevrolet currently slated for a five-year run.
With the financial portion hopefully coming to a close, Rowland is gearing up for the final stretch of dealing with red tape like permits and the like.
'I'm hoping it's all under the bridge,' he said 'When I get the permit in hand, things are different. Then I will celebrate.'
Even once the lights are in place, Rowland said, their operation won't happen without a few conditions.
For example, the lights generally are off by 10 p.m., barring unforeseen weather issues, and home night games are limited to 40 a year – both of which are fine with Rowland.
'We did a lot of imposing on ourselves, just to be good neighbors,' he said. 'We do want to be good neighbors, but we also want lights for the community and the school and the students of the Kennett school district. And it's almost there.'
The second annual Demon Lights carnival is from Tuesday, July 16 to Saturday, July 20 at KHS from 6 to 10 p.m. weeknights and 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Rides and entertainment provided by Houghton Entertainment. Volunteers are needed: contact Jeff Roland t firstname.lastname@example.org or Barb Nash at email@example.com.