TINLEY PARK, Ill. — Locals and tourists alike can find a Winter Wonderland illuminating an array of mesmerizing lights, with about 400 holiday-themed figurines in the 100 block of Avon Lane in Tinley Park.
The display aims to help a local nonprofit in need now more than ever.
Started in 1996, the production has grown to take up about half the block, spanning three properties.
Visitors like Nathan Perry and Joseph Rojek call the display ‘awesome’ and a ‘wonderful place to be,’ respectively. That’s good news to organizer and mastermind Dominic Kowalczyk.
“It’s a great thing to bring everybody together for the holiday season and see all the smiling faces out here,” he said.
While one can enjoy the sparkling décor for free, donations benefitting the Tinley Park nonprofit ‘Together We Cope,’ which provides several services, including food, shelter, and clothing, are encouraged.
On Nov. 21, a fire ignited inside the organization’s main building where food donations were kept and Nu2u Resale Shop is located. Unfortunately, just about everything had to be thrown out due to water and smoke damage. ‘Together We Cope’ executive director Kathryn Straniero isn’t sure when they’ll be able to return to the facility.
“Right now, we do know that we have at least $70,000 that’s not going to be covered by insurance, so that’s something we’ll definitely need help with,” Straniero said.
Katrina Arvetis, who manages the Nu2u Resale Shop, says her heart is full because so many people, including Kowalczyk and the community, have helped the organization during their time of need.
“He’s bridging the gap,” Arvetis said. “That’s our slogan at ‘Together We Cope’ and he’s literally helping us stand. If it weren’t for him, we’d be crumbling.”
It’s why so many have come out to get some holiday cheer and lend a helping hand.
“We came, we donated, the kids got to see the lights, so altogether, just a great experience,” visitor Stephanie Perry said.
The holiday display is up and running seven days a week from 5 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31.