It was a Christmas season like never before for residents and associates at Life Care Center of Yuma, Arizona.
From the day after Thanksgiving 2017 until Jan. 5, 2018, the building was an area attraction in addition to a skilled nursing and rehab center. Hundreds of guests, as well as the center’s residents and staff, either drove up to the facility or sat on the lawn to watch the lights dancing to a variety of music.
“I came to the heat of Yuma in 2015 from Utah where it snows and everybody dreams of a white Christmas,” said David Coles, executive director. “When I showed up here I was amazed at the lack of lights. I started looking into this type of light display and found a company in California that has packages already in place that you can purchase or build individually. They sell the computer program that runs the lights and synchs them to the music.”
Coles joined three others in setting up the display: Albert Perez, maintenance director; his maintenance assistant, Luis Jacquez; and Mike Pierson, a resident’s son who donated about 40 hours of his time.
Besides strings of lights, the attraction included 3-foot-tall Christmas trees lining the lawn, which were dwarfed by two 20-foot-tall mega trees and a 20-foot-tall LED ribbon tree that showed pictures that went along with the songs. Loudspeakers played the music, and if people chose to watch the lights from their cars, they could tune in to an FM station.
“The residents absolutely loved it,” said Coles. “There were many residents who went out multiple times to enjoy the show.”
The street in front of the building was full every night of people watching and taking videos.
Next year, Coles hopes to add even more lights to the spectacular.