Shipping delay becomes ‘The Grinch’ that almost stole Wichita organization’s new Christmas display

Home for the Holidays

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – AbilityPoint, formerly known as the Arc of Sedgwick County, is getting ready for its 25th year of holiday lights. It is the agency’s signature fundraiser event.

The organization is bringing in a new display, but shipping delays almost became “The Grinch” that stole Christmas.

“We found out, oh it may be seven to eight weeks before we can get it on truck and get it to you,” said David Austin, AbilityPoint outreach and development director.

Shipping container delays left the high-tech lights for a new display stuck in Wisconsin, and it wasn’t going to make it in time.

Michael Wright, a volunteer who helped create the new tunnel display, said crews worked on the new design since the beginning of the year.

“I’ve never done this type of stuff before, but through all the expertise and everybody coming together, it was a good effort,” said Wright.

However, one volunteer came to rescue Christmas. Mark Benoit and his buddy drove over 1,600 miles to grab the new display.

“It’s good to see everybody’s reactions when you pull in with all the lights in the back of your truck,” said Benoit.

The AbilityPoint lights will open from Thanksgiving to Dec. 28.

Cars may enter the display from the intersection of Douglas and St Paul. The route travels north on St Paul and through the grounds of AbilityPoint.

Admission is $10 per car on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; and by donation Monday through Thursdays. Advance tickets are available at all area QuikTrip locations.

Individuals can also donate to support AbilityPoint services by making a year-end SHINE donation online or calling 316-943-1191.

Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple and Miss Unstoppable will flip a switch on Saturday for a media preview.

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