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DNR Shines a Spotlight on Rocky Gap State Park Volunteers

Mountain Reflections Light Show
Volunteer Team

Volunteer Team for Mountain Reflections Light Show 2008

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Report from Brian Grim
Brian is an active member and serves as Publicity Chairman of the Volunteer Team, Inc.
A Cumberland City Councilman, he also serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors
of the Western Potomac Chapter, American Red Cross.

The Mountain Reflections Light Show began six years ago when a partnership between the American Red Cross, Rocky Gap State Park, Christ Lutheran Church (Pastor Erzkus), and the Volunteer Team, Inc. was created. The light show is the primary fundraiser for the Western Potomac Chapter of the American Red Cross, which serves Allegany and Garrett counties in Maryland, and Mineral County in West Virginia. The funds derived from the $7 per vehicle charge to tour the show benefit the American Red Cross and assist its local mission of responding to disasters and fires, collecting blood for area hospital patients, and teaching life saving courses.

Initially the Volunteer Team partnered with the American Red Cross to operate the Park's snack bar facility during the show. The first year, the Team undertook a massive overhaul of the facility to create "Santa's Snacks," an indoor winter wonderland to accompany the availability of snacks. Every year since then, the snack bar has been transformed into a winter wonderland scene, with a different theme each year.

In the light show's second year, the Team purchased and erected displays behind the day use buildings to augment the Red Cross light displays and continues to do so.

In 2005, the Team also took on a significant responsibility of providing food, at no cost, to all of the volunteers who participate in the Mountain Reflections Light Show set-up. Volunteers ranging from the boys’ forestry camp to the ABATE motorcycle club all participate in setting up the large Red Cross displays and on those setup days in October and early November, the Team provides food to the volunteers.

The Team’s primary responsibility is the "Santa’s Snacks" snack bar, where a wide variety of foods are prepared and served. Each year Lee Fiedler, the Mayor Of Cumberland, and his family volunteer to staff Santa’s Snacks once a week. Proceeds from the snack bar help fund the volunteer efforts at the Park. All other responsibilities from setting up displays and preparing food are secondary, but equally as integral to the overall event.

The Volunteer Team continues to play a generally supportive role to the American Red Cross in accordance with the “good nature” partnership that was formed many years ago.

Last year over 15,500 people visited the Mountain Reflections Light Show.

There's still plenty of time to see this year's holiday lights.  The light show will run nightly (6 to 9 p.m.) through January 2nd. Families will enjoy animated and illuminated displays featuring festive holiday themes in a drive-through area of the park. The entry fee is $7 per vehicle. Be sure to stop in "Santa's Snacks" for a warm retreat and a bite to eat. For more information, call 301-722-1760.

Mountain Reflections Light Show
Rocky Gap State Park
November 21, 2008 through January 2, 2009

The Western Potomac Chapter of the American Red Cross will host their popular holiday themed light show at Rocky Gap State Park November 21, 2008 through January 2, 2009.

The park's volunteers operate Santa's Snack Bar concurrently and offer a warm retreat for all visitors.

The light show will run nightly from 6 to 9 p.m. A charge of $7 per vehicle will benefit the American Red Cross and assist its mission of responding to disasters and fires, collecting blood for area hospital patients, and teaching life saving courses.

For more information, call 301-722-1760.


Members of the Volunteer Team have donated over 300,000 hours of valuable time since the inception of the team in 1992. The Volunteer Team, Inc. sponsors and provides assistance for numerous special events for the public including the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Independence Day activities, a Memorial Day fun fair for children camping at Rocky Gap, a Labor Day corn roast, and the haunted campground in addition to the Mountain  Reflections Light Show. On Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day weekends the team also hosts campground karaoke for campers. To learn more about their activities, visit: www.volunteerteam.org

Volunteer schedules are very flexible. Volunteers may commit to a weekly or monthly schedule or help on an as-needed basis. No amount of time donated is too small! Many of the projects are done in the evening or on the weekends so that working volunteers and students may participate.

If you are interested in volunteering at Rocky Gap State Park, please call Alicia Norris at 301-722-1483 or email at anorris@dnr.state.md.us

DNR Volunteer Spotlight Archives