Photo of outdoor holiday lights display

Nature’s Coastal Holiday Creates Scholarship at Southwestern

Anne Matthews News

Festival of Lights to benefit students attending college’s Curry Campus

Brookings, OR – Nature’s Coastal Holiday, a nonprofit bringing the spirit of giving to the community through their Festival of Lights holiday light display in Azalea Park, is partnering with the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation to offer three scholarships for students attending the Curry Campus in Brookings, Oregon. These scholarships will help students with volunteerism and involvement in the community.

“Many people don’t realize this is a completely volunteer coordinated and staffed holiday lights event—our community is the powerhouse behind the amazing display,” said Klaus Gielish, Board President of Nature’s Coastal Holiday. “The goal with this ambassador scholarship is to encourage that same ripple effect of volunteering.”

Students can apply for the Nature’s Coastal Holiday Ambassador Scholarship and many others offered through the Southwestern Foundation starting January 1, 2020, by completing an application online at Applications are due March 1, 2020.

Applicants must simply attend Southwestern’s Curry Campus in the upcoming 2020-21 academic year and plan to take at least six credits. In the same spirit of what Nature’s Coastal Holiday stands for, recipients must demonstrate community involvement/leadership, and be willing to volunteer at least 10 hours with the organization.

“The Festival of Lights offers the scholarship winners a wonderful way to meet members of our community and experience, first-hand, the impact this event has on the community,” added Klaus.

The annual lights event began with a mere 22,000 lights in 1997 and has grown to more than 2 million dazzling lights, bringing more than 20,000 visitors to the Brookings-Harbor community each year. “As we approach this season of giving, I can think of nothing more impactful than the gift of education,” said Doug Bunn, Executive Dean of Southwestern’s Curry Campus. “These scholarships will have a profound impact on our students and our local community. It’s truly a win-win.”