Local Business Supports Ukraine With Blue And Gold Lighting Display
Published: March 10th, 2022
By: Sarah Genter

Local business supports Ukraine with blue and gold lighting display A bird’s-eye view of the lighting display in East Park. Live Event NY will be putting up the display once again on Saturday, March 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Photo by Live Event NY)

NORWICH — City of Norwich business Live Event NY took to East and West Park on Saturday, March 5 and covered the area in blue and gold lights to show their support for Ukraine.

Live Event NY specializes in lighting and DJ services for various events, and also provide outdoor lighting to several downtown businesses. Owner and Founder Will MacGuire said the team decided to put the lights up in support of Ukraine after significant outreach from the Norwich community in the days before.

"We actually had several members of the community reach out to us, and request and ask us if we could potentially do something in recognition of what was happening, some type of lighting display specifically," said MacGuire. "At first we were thinking of lighting up our corner here where our business is located, Live Event NY right on the corner of Main and Broad. But then we had sort of more and more people reaching out as the day and afternoon and next day went on, so we decided to take it to a larger scale out to the park."

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The business has worked with the city on lighting projects in the past, donating their services to support organizations like the Chenango Child Advocacy Center. Due to the timing of this project, however, MacGuire said there wasn't enough time to coordinate a long-term display with city officials, but he hopes to explore that in the future.

In the meantime the Live Event NY team stuck with portable, cordless lights that remained in East and West Park from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., and they will be putting up another display on Saturday, March 12, also from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

"We have worked with the city and the police and we’ve done lots of local lighting projects, so this one was very last minute so we went to make some phone calls, but it was Saturday night. So we just decided to make it as uninvasive as possible," he explained. "It’s sort of like carrying in 100 flashlights and setting them up. They’re just very, very bright flashlights. So we were right across the street, so we carried them over, we set them up, and then we took them down."

"I get really into the creative aspect of these things, and when you combine the creative aspect and being able to reach someone emotionally, we want to put our all into it. And I’m fortunate enough to have enthusiastic team members as well that put their all into it as well," he added.

In total, 102 lights were placed and lit up the trees, pillars, courthouse, Santa's Igloo, stage, and more. But, in addition to the display, MacGuire said he wanted to make sure the project served a functional purpose, too.

"We sourced several donation links, a little over a dozen, and we’re sort of vetting our sources right now to make sure we post good information. But we’re using that post, which gathered close to 200 local shares and like 600 local likes, there’s actually quite an awesome response and everything was really, really positive. So we’re using that post, which has sort of gained a local platform, to just post useful links where people can donate directly to everything from things like obvious charities that come up, but maybe more specific charities as well that might help specific groups or provide specific resources," said MacGuire.

"It’s a completely donated service to the community, and the main focus and point of the display was not actually the lighting itself, but the avenue through which we may be able to channel some resources for everyone," he continued. "It’s representative of something larger."

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The community rallied around their efforts, and MacGuire said so far the response has been nothing but supportive.

"It was really positive, and out of all the comments and everything online there actually, knock on wood, I have not seen any negativity, and social media can be a place that breeds lots of negativity. So with that much social media traffic and it all being positive and local, it’s been a great response," he said. "So that was, locally, obviously rewarding and great to be a part of."

He added that lighting displays seem to always have a positive effect, and encourage community support for both local and global causes. Live Event NY has now been involved with several of these projects in the area, and the lights have become a huge part of who they are.

"It’s a part of what we do, but it’s sort of become part of our identity," MacGuire explained. "We did a memorial lighting display on the county office building last year for COVID. So that one was like a rainbow display, and then we did blue lights for the month of April and March for the Child Advocacy Center. So when people would see those they would message us and say, I'm not really sure how to explain it, but there's a positive reaction here. And, you know, they were appreciative of it and what it stood for, whether it be this particular thing for Ukraine or the causes we were doing last year."

Ultimately, he said the display was able to accomplish the goal of generating awareness, discussion, and support for the people of Ukraine.

"At any level, at least it started some talk, it’s raised a little bit of awareness, and it hit home for some people that asked for it and that really wanted or needed it, and then maybe potentially more it could be a little bit of a local platform to raise those resources and money for those in need," MacGuire said. "It’s been an interesting response and we have received community outreach to participate, to contribute, and we're extremely happy and honored to do that type of thing."