Recognizing the importance of cultural holiday celebrations and how they can positively impact communities, ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus today announce grants of up to $2,500 to 10 northern Illinois communities as part of the inaugural ComEd Powering the Holidays Program.
The grant program was established this year to celebrate identity and culture; provide a platform for intercultural exchange and understanding; encourage respect and open-mindedness for different cultures; develop an appreciation, understanding and respect for what is important to neighbors and provide a pathway for people to gain a sense of belonging to their communities. Powering the Holidays grants can be used for any community holiday lighting event held from Nov. 1, 2021 to Feb. 13, 2022. Municipalities, townships, counties and other local governments within the northern Illinois areas ComEd serves were eligible to apply.
“Our neighborhoods are rich in holiday lighting events that celebrate community identity and culture,” said Melissa Washington, senior vice president of governmental and external affairs at ComEd. “ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus are excited to support these events that provide residents with opportunities for interculture exchange and understanding.”
“We are grateful to partner with ComEd to launch this first ever ‘Powering the Holidays’ Program,” said Kevin Wallace, mayor of Bartlett and chairman of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus. ”It will be rewarding to see these grants provide communities a sense of unity during the holiday season and help people develop a respect and understanding for different cultures.”
Powering the Holidays is an extension of ComEd’s long-time sponsorship of and support for holiday lighting events at Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, The Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden. For more information about Powering the Holidays, visit the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus website.
This year’s 10 ComEd Powering the Holidays grant recipients are:
Miracle on Main (Village of Algonquin): The grant will support Algonquin’s Miracle on Main event, which marks the start of the holiday season in the downtown district and includes visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, live reindeer, an ice-sculpting demonstration, community tables with projects, school singers and a tree lighting.
Merry and Bright in Bartlett (Village of Bartlett): In addition to traditional holiday lights and décor, the grant will support Bartlett’s plans to light up the village hall during Diwali, a traditional Hindu Festival of Lights celebrated in early November. Merry and Bright will also honor and celebrate the diversity of the residents that call the village home.
Holiday Lighting Project: Celebrating Community Identity Through Cultural Awareness (Village of Broadview): This grant will provide residents and visitors with a special and unique winter celebration. Broadview plans to match the grant money it receives and use the funds to light two trees in the village in a way that showcases and supports all cultures in its community.
Lights on Lincoln: Santa Comes to Town (City of Dekalb): This grant will be matched to help the city fund LED lights for Santa’s arrival. The grant will also help make the event accessible to all residents by funding free bus rides to Dekalb’s annual Lights on Lincoln: Santa Comes to Town event.
Business and Community Wide Holiday Lighting Celebration (Village of Dolton): This grant will allow Dolton to host a tree-lighting ceremony in tandem with a toy drive for families in need. The event will also include participation from local business owners and presentations from community members regarding different ethnic celebrations of the holidays.
Inclusive Holiday Light Display: Celebrating a Multicultural Community (Village of Hawthorn Woods): The grant will support the annual Hometown Holiday event hosted in Hawthorn Woods’ community park. The event includes a festive, animated light display featuring the “12 Days of Christmas” and an evergreen draped in LED holiday lights. The grant will also help expand the traditional, animated light display to include items that celebrate the religious and cultural diversity of the village.
Homer for the Holiday’s (Village of Homer Glen): The grant will support the purchase of additional light sculptures and temporary signage that will act as a wayfinding device for Homer Glen’s COVID-safe holiday display in Heritage Park.
Merry & Bright (Village of Montgomery): The grant will support the redesign of Montgomery’s Merry & Bright festival to host events that are COVID safe. The festival will include outdoor events, including a walk with Santa, and allow community members the chance to engage with one another in a safe manner.
Winter Lights at Central Park (Oak Brook Park District): This grant will allow the Oak Brook Park District to expand the Winter Lights event at Central Park for residents and visitors. Plans include expanding current scenes and creating three new exhibits.
Holiday Lights Festival (Romeoville Parks & Recreation Department): The Holiday Lights Festival, first held in December 2020, allowed the community to safely celebrate the holidays during the pandemic. The grant will help offset a portion of the costs associated with expanding the festival in 2021 and allow an even larger number of residents to come together and celebrate the holidays at the festival.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 100 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus is a membership organization of the Chicago region's 275 cities, towns and villages. Founded in 1997 by then Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and leading mayors from nine suburban municipal groups, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus pushes past geographical boundaries and local interests to work on public policy issues. The caucus provides a forum for metropolitan Chicago's chief elected officials to collaborate on common problems and work toward a common goal of improving the quality of life for the millions of people who call the region home. For more information visit http://mayorscaucus.org/.