Members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 38 volunteered their time and expertise to bring holiday cheer to thousands by lighting Cleveland’s Public Square for the Christmas season.
According to Dennis Meany, IBEW Local 38 Business Manager/Financial Secretary, his members continued their yearly pre-holiday tradition by volunteering their time to decorate the square . This year they once again upped their game, as 60 members of Local 38 installed festive displays and strung 200,000 individual lights throughout the heart of downtown Cleveland on Oct. 21.
Lisa Krieger, Director of Events and Internal Operations for the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, said GE Lighting donated 500,000 LED lights for the north and south half of the square, plus the Christmas tree, and Local 38 members did nearly half of the work in just one day.
Since at least the 1950s, members of Local 38 have saved the City of Cleveland thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours by volunteering their time to expertly light up Public Square for the holidays.
“Volunteering for this event builds on the comradery we already have with Local 38,” said IBEW Local 38 President Michael E. Muzic. “I know our members are always ready to step up and give back to the community.”
This year, as in years past, members had help from their children, who also volunteered their time to decorate Public Square.
“It is a great opportunity for our members to work and have fun with their kids,” said Meaney. “There were several father and son and father and daughter teams there this year. Some of the father and sons are both members and some are kids that have been coming since they were 5 years old.”
Muzic said the children who volunteer to help decorate Public Square enjoy spending the day with a parent.
“I feel when they are working side-by-side with their parent and are interacting with others, they really are enjoying themselves. You can tell by their faces,” he said.
Thousands attended Winterfest, the official lighting ceremony, to kick-off the holiday season, and witnessed the lights turn on for the first time. Throughout December, thousands more will head downtown to see the work of Local 38 volunteers.