Hill City Celebrations Recognizes Winners

Hill City Celebrations
Recognizes Winners

Tres Palmer, left, owner of Van’s Auto Sales and Service, poses with Al Black, founder, while displaying the company’s $500.00 first prize from Hill City Celebrations.

Hill City Celebrations, formerly known as First Night Oneonta, has announced the winners of the 2022 Festival of Lights.

The three organizations that claimed first, second and third place in the festival, voted on by Hill City Celebrations board members, were recently recognized by board officials with prize earnings. Each winning organization was gifted with a monetary prize for themselves, and Hill City Celebrations matched an equal amount of money for winners to donate to a charity their choice.

First prize of $500.00 was claimed by Van’s Auto Sales and Service, whose “car under repair” decorated with lights was a favorite among festival attendees. Tres and Cheryl Palmer, owners of Van’s Auto, donated $500.00 each to the Oneonta American Legion and Super Heroes Humane Society.

“We owe a lot of our recognition to Cheryl, who designed and maintained our display,” said Tres.

Second prize was claimed by NYCM Insurance, who drew hundreds of onlookers with a display that featured a small forest of holiday trees. NYCM contributed $300.00 each to The Community Cupboard in Edmeston, a local food pantry at the Second Baptist Church, and Hill City Celebrations.

Hill City Celebrations Treasurer Connie Herzig, left, presents the Festival of Lights second prize $300.00 check to NYCM’s Logan Thompson.

Finally, third prize went to The Amish Barn Company. Their display incorporated one of the organization’s beautiful handmade barns with holiday lights. The Amish Barn Company donated their $200.00 prize to the Susquehanna SPCA in Cooperstown, which Hill City Celebrations will match.

Kirsten Stoop, owner of Amish Barn Company, left, stands with Samantha Dufresne, general manager, while displaying their $200.00 third place prize check from Hill City Celebrations.

“We had a very successful 2022 Festival of Lights, and we would like to thank everyone for their amazing support and participation this past holiday season,” said Carol Mandigo, co-chair of Hill City Celebrations. “It’s truly beautiful that out of the total $2,000.00 in prizes, $1,800.00 was given back to local causes. The other $200.00 was graciously donated back to Hill City Celebrations for future festivals. Congratulations and thank you to all our winners—we are so appreciative of your generosity. Thank you to all our festival participants.”

Prizes were sponsored by Five Star Subaru and Cleinman Charitable Trust.

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