Cedar City Man Brings The Light To Make Wishes Come True
“It's good crazy.” That's what we described what Ben Hohman does on a yearly basis when he joined us on the radio this morning.
What is it that he is doing? “Through the 31st, we are doing a Christmas light display walk through of our entire property at 26 North 1150 West, just north of the SUU football stadium.” And what a display it is!
Last year Hohman told us there were some 65,000 lights used in his display. This year, that number is now over 70,000. And this is not put together in a day or two. “I literally start in the back yard the day after Halloween,” Hohman told us. “I have great friends who come over and help us on the weekends in November.” Hohman, who works at the Utah Shakespeare Festival also “takes off a couple of days a week in November” to get the display up and ready.
And even before the display grew to the size it is today, Hohman realized that getting enough power could be a challenge, so he worked with a local electrician to have 200 amp service set up to the outside of his house.
He also told us his wife is “amazing” and does a lot of the work. It's not just putting up all the elements of the display. All of it has to be plugged in and tested before it is set up, and there are some automated displays that have to be programmed. And when it's all put together Hohman says, “I think there's about 5 miles of extension cords!”
And all of this has a worth while purpose. “This is our 19th year of doing it, and we ask for donations. We donate all the money to Make A Wish Utah,” he said. Hohman first teamed up with Make A Wish to be a “grantor” but found the experience to be pretty “emotional” and decided a better way for him to support the organization would be through a fund raising effort.
While Hohman does not set any kind of benchmark in fundraising, he is hopeful that by the end of his twentieth year next year to be able to have contributed $40,000 to Make A Wish. All the money donated goes to Make A Wish.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a global nonprofit organization that grants the wishes of children diagnosed with critical illnesses, aiming to bring hope, strength, and joy to their lives. Founded in 1980, the foundation has since granted over 500,000 wishes worldwide, creating magical and transformative experiences for children facing serious health challenges.
The organization operates on the belief that a wish experience can be a pivotal part of a child's medical journey, providing them with the strength to endure treatments and the hope to envision a brighter future. Wishes can vary widely, ranging from meeting a favorite celebrity, going on a dream vacation, becoming a superhero for a day, or even receiving a special gift or experience tailored to the child's unique interests and passions.
Hohman is also being a good neighbor. The first year the ran the display at the current location, the would leave the lights on until 11PM. But directly across the street was the bedroom of a little girl who would stand on her bed to watch the lights. Her parents asked Hohman if he could shorten the hours, so the lights started going off at 10PM.
That toddler, now a teenager, is on the property frequently, and make sure everything is working properly.
Hohman accepts cash, checks, and Venmo payments. If you have time, stop by and check out the display at 26 North 1150 West. Trust me, you won't miss it.
Listen to our visit with Ben Hohman below.
Cedar City Christmas Extravaganza
Gallery Credit: Dr. T